DES MOINES, Iowa — Late Wednesday afternoon, Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Troy Price announced that he was resigning following major failures in this year’s Iowa Caucuses that led to widespread criticism and fueled further speculation that the state could struggle to retain its coveted first-in-the-nation caucuses in 2024.
“Serving as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Price wrote in his resignation letter to members of the party’s State Central Committee.
Price will stay on as chair until the SCC names his interim replacement during an emergency meeting Saturday.
In his letter, Price also detailed threats that he said his staff received. He wrote:
“In the days following the caucuses, our staff worked under immense pressure to produce a complete report of results from the caucuses and was able to do so in 72 hours. Enduring threats to personal safety, taunts, and anger from people around the globe, our staff worked in a professional manner to produce a final result. I am incredibly proud of the work they did in those three days. These are people who are working hard towards our common goal of electing Democrats in November, and I deeply regret that these dedicated employees of our party had to endure such abuse.”
Price has repeatedly apologized for a system-wide failure on caucus night that prevented the party from providing timely results. But he faced growing criticism about the party’s failure to react sooner to complaints from precinct leaders that a new phone app for reporting caucus results wasn’t working properly. Precinct leaders complained that the party didn’t prepare them for using the app or provide sufficient resources for the backup phone system on caucus night.
The Democratic National Committee recommended the app developed from Shadow, Inc. The Nevada Democratic Party had also planned to use the same app for its caucuses on February 22nd but changed its mind following Iowa’s problems.
Price blamed “coding issues” for the app’s failure and has resisted publicly criticizing DNC Chair Tom Perez, who has ripped the party for failing to produce timely results.
The State Central Committee is also scheduled to meet Thursday night to address an independent review of the problems from caucus night.
The final results of the caucuses still remain in question as the party is working on requests from two candidates– Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg–who earned nearly equal support on caucus night but both want the party to check through some of the results to look for potential errors.
Sanders, citing numerous errors and delays from caucus night, called the mistakes an “embarrassment” and a “disgrace.”
Price was an experienced civil rights advocate and has worked nearly two decades in politics. He served on staffs of two former Democratic governors: Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver. He also worked on presidential campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. He was raised in Durant, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa.