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Paul Pate
Paul Pate.jpeg
Pate during his first tenure as Iowa Secretary of State
28th and 32nd Secretary of State of Iowa
Assumed office
January 1, 2015
GovernorTerry Branstad
Kim Reynolds
Preceded byMatt Schultz
In office
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 1999
GovernorTerry Branstad
Preceded byElaine Baxter
Succeeded byChet Culver
Mayor of Cedar Rapids
In office
January 1, 2002 – January 1, 2006
Preceded byLee Clancey
Succeeded byKay Halloran
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 26th district
In office
January 1, 1993 – January 3, 1995
Preceded byRichard Running
Succeeded byMary Lundby
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 24th district
In office
January 1, 1989 – January 1, 1993
Preceded byHurley Hall
Succeeded byRichard F. Drake
Personal details
Paul Danny Pate Jr.

(1958-05-01) May 1, 1958 (age 62)
Ottumwa, Iowa, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jane Pate
EducationKirkwood Community College

Paul Danny Pate Jr. (born May 1, 1958) is an American businessman and politician serving as the 32nd and current Secretary of State of Iowa since 2015, previously holding the office from 1995 to 1999.[1] Pate is the President of the National Association of Secretaries of State.[2] A member of the Republican Party, he also served in the Iowa Senate from 1989 to 1995 and as Mayor of Cedar Rapids from 2002 to 2006. He was an unsuccessful candidate for his party's nomination for Governor of Iowa in 1998.

Early and personal life

Pate was born in 1958 to parents Paul Sr. and Velma Pate. He received an Associate of Arts degree from Kirkwood Community College.[3] He married his wife Jane in 1978. They have three children, Jennifer, Amber and Paul III, and five grandchildren.

Business career

Pate, a third-generation builder, is the president and owner of Pate Asphalt. He was also previously the president of Premier Group Corporation, and the president of Pavco Paving Company. Pate was a member of U.S. Small Business Administration District Advisory Board from 1987 to 1989. He previously served as executive director for the Youth Entrepreneurship Program of East Central Iowa. He has been recognized as Iowa Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration, with a Blue Chip Award by the United States Chamber of Commerce, and an Outstanding Community Leader by The Des Moines Register.[4][5]

Political career

Pate was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1988, for the 24th district. He was reelected in 1992, for the 26th district. Both districts were located in Linn County.[6][7] He ran for Secretary of State of Iowa in 1994 and was unopposed in the Republican primary. In the general election, he defeated Democrat Anne Pedersen, the Lee County Auditor, by 473,371 votes (51.73%) to 425,626 (46.51%).

He did not run for reelection in 1998, instead running for the Republican nomination for Governor of Iowa. Incumbent Republican Governor Terry Branstad chose not to run for a fifth term, so the seat was open. Pate came third out of three candidates in the Republican primary, with 13,299 votes (8.19%), behind telecommunications executive and Branstad's Chief of Staff David A. Oman, who took 35,402 votes (21.80%), and former U.S. Representative and 1996 Senate nominee Jim Ross Lightfoot, who won with 113,499 votes (69.89%).[8] Lightfoot went on to lose the general election to Democratic State Senator Tom Vilsack.

In 2001, Pate ran for Mayor of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, winning the officially non-partisan election with 20,210 votes (54.93%) to three-term incumbent Democratic Mayor Lee Clancey's 16,450 votes (44.71%). Pate ran for reelection in 2003 and defeated Paul T. Larson by 26,001 votes (76%) to 7,463 (21.81%).[9][10] He was an advocate of strong-mayor form of city government and chose not to run for reelection in 2005 after a city referendum backed a weak-mayor form of government instead. He then returned to running Pate Asphalt in Marion, Iowa.[11]

On January 18, 2010, Pate filed paperwork to notify the Iowa Election Board that he was considering a run for his former position as Iowa Secretary of State against Democratic incumbent Michael Mauro. He was reportedly intrigued at the idea of being able to run for office alongside former Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.[12] However, he decided not to run for the office.[13] He did however decide to run four years later after Republican incumbent Matt Schultz instead ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Iowa's 3rd congressional district.[14] Pate was unopposed in the Republican primary and faced Democrat Brad Anderson in the 2014 general election.[15] Pate defeated Anderson 49% to 47%, returning to the office of Iowa Secretary of State 20 years after he was first elected to the position.[16]

Upon returning to the Secretary of State's office, Pate set out to institute a Safe at Home program in Iowa. Safe at Home is an address confidentiality program for survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, trafficking and stalking. The bill passed both chambers of the Iowa Legislature unanimously and was signed into law by Governor Terry Branstad in May 2015.[17] Secretary Pate's Office administers the program.

Paul Pate was selected to participate in the prestigious 2015 Toll Fellowship Program. It is a leadership development program for state government officials, bringing 48 of the nation’s top officials from all three branches of state government together for an intensive six-day intellectual boot camp.[18] Google awarded Secretary Pate in July 2015 for his efforts to increase voter participation in Iowa. The award was presented during the National Association of Secretaries of State's annual conference.[19]

Secretary Pate was named the co-chair of the National Association of Secretaries of State’s Standing Committee on Business Services in July 2015.[20] Pate was named the co-chair of the NASS Business ID Theft Task Force in March 2016.[21] Secretary Pate was elected the Midwestern Region Vice-president of the National Association of Secretaries of State in July 2016,[22] Treasurer for NASS in 2017[23] and was unanimously chosen as President-Elect for NASS in July 2018.[24]

Secretary Pate's Office partnered with the Iowa Department of Transportation to launch online voter registration in Iowa on January 1, 2016.[25] Approximately 70,000 Iowans utilized the system to register to vote in 2016.[26] Iowa continually broke voter registration records during Secretary Pate's current tenure, reaching an all-time high of 2,045,864 active registered voters in January 2017.[27]

Pate's efforts in voter education for Iowa's youth were recognized in March 2017 when he was named the winner of the National State Boards of Education Award for Outstanding Leadership in Voter Education. Pate was rewarded for his efforts in conducting two statewide Iowa Youth Straw Polls and the Iowa Youth Caucus, which included hundreds of schools and tens of thousands of student participants.[28] Pate was the recipient of the Election Center's 2018 Professional Practice State Award for his office's training materials for poll workers.[29]

The Council of State Governments appointed Secretary Pate to its Executive Committee and International Committee in 2017. CSG cited Pate's commitment to advancing the efforts of the council’s Overseas Voting Initiative, designed to improve the return rate of overseas absentee ballots from service members and U.S. citizens living abroad.[30]

Paul Pate was reelected as Iowa's Secretary of State in November 2018, defeating Democratic challenger Deidre DeJear by eight points.[31]

Secretary Pate received the National Association of Secretaries of State's 2019 IDEAS Award for his election cybersecurity initiative, "Partnerships Pay Dividends: A Roadmap to Election Cybersecurity". Pate partnered with various of county, state and federal agencies to provide free cybersecurity services to all 99 Iowa counties.[32] Pate was also recognized by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for a "Clearie" Award for his efforts to help veterans and Iowans with disabilities vote.[33]

The National Association of Secretaries of State unanimously chose Paul Pate to be their President during the organization's 2019 summer conference.[34]


On January 15, 2019, Paul Pate announced that he failed to fulfill his constitutional duty regarding proposed constitutional amendments. The Iowa Constitution mandates that the Secretary of State must notify the public of any amendment proposals for three months prior to a general election and follow any other prescribed statutes which are currently delineated in the Iowa Code, which further mandates that the Secretary of State must publish the amendment proposal in two newspapers in each of Iowa's four congressional districts. Through bureaucratic error, Pate did not initiate this process, causing two constitutional amendment proposals which were passed by the 87th Iowa Legislature in 2018 to effectively be pocket vetoed. The first amendment proposal was to clarify the succession of the Iowa governor and lieutenant governor in the event of the governor's death, impeachment or resignation. The second amendment proposal was to add a right to keep and bear arms provision to the constitution. The error generated considerable backlash from Second Amendment advocates.[35]

Electoral history

Iowa State Senate 24th District Republican Primary Election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Pate 1,167 59.09
Republican Chris Keleher 808 40.91
Iowa State Senate 24th District Election, 1988
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Pate 12,640 51.34
Democratic Ralph Kremer 11,980 48.66
Iowa State Senate 26th District Election, 1992
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Pate 17,854 60.12
Democratic Sylvia Kelley 11,843 39.88
Iowa Secretary of State Election, 1994
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Pate 473,371 51.58
Democratic Anne Pedersen 428,626 46.70
Natural Law Steven Druker 15,809 1.72
Iowa Secretary of State Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Paul Pate 529,275 48.46
Democratic Brad Anderson 509,202 46.63
Libertarian Jake Porter 32,889 3.01
New Independent Party Iowa Spencer Highland 19,945 1.83
Write-ins Write-ins 769 0.07
Election Political result Candidate Party Votes %
2018 Iowa Secretary of State Election
Turnout: 1,300,917
Republican hold Paul PateRepublican685,78052.71%
Deidre Dejear Democratic583,77444.87%
Jules Ofenbakh Libertarian30,8812.37%
Write-In 4820.04%


  1. ^ Paul Pate Archived 2012-04-19 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "NASS Inducts Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate as President". July 8, 2019. Retrieved 2018-12-17.
  3. ^ "Secretary of State: Paul Pate, Republican". Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  4. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Paul D. Pate".
  5. ^ "Paul D. Pate". The Iowa Legislature. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  6. ^ "Iowa Senate Districts 1983-1992" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  7. ^ "Iowa Senate Districts 1993-2002" (PDF). Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  8. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Paul D. Pate".
  9. ^ "P.T. Larson makes 13th run at city office". The Gazette. September 17, 2009. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  10. ^ "Pate, Wagner Are in". Cedar Rapids Gazette. Retrieved 2001-11-07.
  11. ^ "Eye On The Island". Wordpress. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
  12. ^ "Pate forms committee to run for secretary of state". The Iowa Independent. Archived from the original on 2010-01-29. Retrieved 2010-01-19.
  13. ^ Pate Will Not Run For Secretary of State Archived 2010-08-31 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Jacobs, Jennifer (January 9, 2014). "Elections chief Matt Schultz jumps into race for Congress". Des Moines Register. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  15. ^ "Paul Pate Announces Bid for Secretary of State". January 9, 2014. Archived from the original on March 22, 2014. Retrieved March 21, 2014.
  16. ^ [1] Archived 2014-12-13 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Iowa Passes 'Safe At Home' Law". 8 May 2015.
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-08-01. Retrieved 2015-07-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  19. ^ "Editorial: Concerned over bird flu? Sorry, you're not qualified". Des Moines Register.
  20. ^ "Bio page". 2015. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Bio page". 2016. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-08-09. Retrieved 2017-08-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "NASS Inducts Vermont Secretary of State  Jim Condos as President | NASS". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  25. ^ "Bio page". 2016. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  26. ^ Iowa Sec. of State [@IowaSOS] (10 May 2017). "#wednesdaywisdom  #RegisterToVote. You can do it online in just a few minutes. 75,000 Iowans already have:…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  27. ^ "Bio page". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  28. ^ "Bio page". 2017. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  29. ^ "Bio page". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  30. ^ "State government association appoints Paul Pate". The Gazette.
  31. ^ Fitzgerald, Kit. "Pate reclaims his position as Iowa's secretary of state". The Daily Iowan. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^
  35. ^ Gruber-Miller, Stephen. "Iowa gun rights amendment is back to square one after 'bureaucratic oversight'". The Des Moines Register.

External links

Iowa Senate
Preceded by
Hurley Hall
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 24th district

Succeeded by
Richard F. Drake
Preceded by
Richard Running
Member of the Iowa Senate
from the 26th district

Succeeded by
Mary Lundby
Political offices
Preceded by
Elaine Baxter
Secretary of State of Iowa
Succeeded by
Chet Culver
Preceded by
Lee Clancey
Mayor of Cedar Rapids
Succeeded by
Kay Halloran
Preceded by
Matt Schultz
Secretary of State of Iowa
This page was last edited on 28 December 2020, at 18:17
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