Chair of Iowa Democratic Party resigns amid health issues

DES MOINES — The chair of the Iowa Democratic Party announced Thursday he’s resigning from the post because of health issues.

Derek Eadon said in a statement that he decided to step down because his health caused him to miss too much time on the job. He said he had recently been diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia, a condition that affects a nerve linked to the face. Eadon described it as a “painful but non-lethal ailment” that will require radiation procedures over the summer.

“Very shortly I will be back on my feet and knocking doors for Democrats,” he said. “It is important that this party has a Chair that can dedicate all of his or her time to this effort, and it is clear that I am not able to.”

Eadon was elected by a party committee in January amid a crowded race for the top post. He replaced Andy McGuire, who has since launched a gubernatorial campaign.

Andrea Phillips, 1st vice chair of the party, will assume Eadon’s role until party leadership meets July 22 to elect a permanent replacement.

Democrats are gearing up for the midterm elections next year, when they will try to win back majorities in the Republican-controlled state House and Senate. More than a half-dozen Democrats have also indicated plans to seek the party’s nomination for governor.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who took over the job in May after Terry Branstad resigned to become U.S. ambassador to China, is planning to run. Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett has announced a campaign for the GOP nomination.