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GOP race for Iowa ag secretary expected to go to convention

GOP race for Iowa ag secretary expected to go to convention
Voters fill out primary ballots at a Polk County polling place at East Side Library in Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday, June 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Scott Stewart)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republicans appear poised to select their nominee for Iowa agriculture secretary at a party convention.

In unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election, Mike Naig stands 233 votes short of reaching a 35 percent threshold to secure the nomination. That tally could change as provisional and absentee ballots are counted. However, Naig says Wednesday his campaign’s focus is on the state convention, set for June 16 in Des Moines.

Naig has served in the position since March after the departure of longtime agriculture secretary Bill Northey, who took a job at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Naig faces four Republican challengers.

State Sen. Dan Zumbach finished second with about 21 percent of the vote.

The Republican nominee faces Democrat Tim Gannon, a former USDA official who was unopposed in the primary.

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