An Eye on the Elections
Last Friday's candidate filing deadline provided some clarity for current officeholders on what (if any) opposition they will face for either June's primary or November's General Election.
The Iowa Senate is controlled by the Democrats by a razor thin 26-24 majority. One seat flipping to Republicans in the November election would put the chamber in split 25-25 control. Only half (25) of the 50-seat Senate is up for election every 2 years, since Senate terms are 4 years in length. Of the 25 Iowa Senate seats up this November, 11 are currently held by Republicans and 14 are held by Democrats. There are contested races in 7 of the seats held by Republicans and 9 of the seats held by Democrats.
Five state senators will have a primary challenge in June (three Democrats and two Republicans). They include Sen. Wally Horn, who announced he would run for a final time at the age of 80. Sen. Horn (SD35) is the longest serving state legislator, having begun his service in the Senate in 1983, after serving 10 years in the Iowa House. Others include Sen. Jack Whitver (SD19), Sen. Herman Quirmbach (SD23), Sen. Mark Chelgren (SD41), and Sen. Joe Seng (SD45).
Five state senators will retire this year (two Democrats and three Republicans). They are Sen. Nancy Boettger (SD9), Sen. Hubert Houser (SD11), Sen. Dennis Black (SD15), Sen. Jack Hatch (SD17), and Sen. Sandy Greiner (SD39). Sen. Hatch is leaving his seat to run as the Democratic candidate for Governor, and two former state legislators are part of a three-way Democratic primary to replace him (former Senators Ned Chiodo and Tony Bisignano will face off against activist Nathan Blake).
Eight state senators are running unopposed (five Democrats and three Republicans). They still can get an opponent if the other party decides to nominate someone at their convention this summer. These "lucky" legislators include: Sen. David Johnson (SD1), Sen. Bill Anderson (SD3), Sen. Matt McCoy (SD21), Sen. Bill Dix (SD25), Sen. Bill Dotzler (SD31), Sen. Rob Hogg (SD33), Sen. Bob Dvorsky (SD37), and Sen. Joe Bolkcom (SD43).
One state representative is running for state senate this year - Rep. Jason Schultz is running unopposed for SD9, which is being vacated by Sen. Nancy Boettger
Iowa House of Representatives
In the House, the Republicans currently control the chamber by a narrow 53-47 margin. All 100 seats in the Iowa House will be on November's ballot.
Ten state representatives are retiring this year (four Democrats, six Republicans). They include Rep. Jeff Smith (HD1), Rep. Tom Shaw (HD10), Rep. Mark Brandenburg (HD15), Rep. Jason Schultz (HD18), Rep. Roger Thomas (HD55), Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic (HD61), Rep. Tyler Olson (HD65), Rep. Mark Lofgren (HD91), Rep. Steve Olson (HD97), and Rep. Pat Murphy (HD99). Rep. Jason Schultz is running unopposed for a vacant state senate seat; Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic and Rep. Pat Murphy are running against each other for Congress in Northeast Iowa, and Rep. Mark Lofgren is running for Congress in Southeast Iowa.
Half of the Iowa House is running unopposed (29 Democrats and 21 Republicans). They include: Rep. Megan Hess (HD2), Rep. Dwayne Alons (HD4), Rep. Chuck Soderberg (HD5), Rep. Ron Jorgenson (HD6), Rep. Helen Miller (HD9), Rep. Gary Worthan (HD11), Rep. Dave Dawson (HD14), Rep. Ralph Watts (HD19), Rep. Greg Forristall (HD22), Rep. Mark Costello (HD23), Rep. Cecil Dolecheck (HD24), Rep. Rick Olson (HD31), Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines (HD32), Rep. Brian Meyer (HD33), Rep. Bruce Hunter (HD34), Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (HD35), Rep. Marti Anderson (HD36), Rep. John Landon (HD37), Rep. Kevin Koester (HD38), Rep. John Forbes (HD40), Rep. Jo Oldson (HD41), Rep. Rob Taylor (HD44), Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (HD45), Rep. Lisa Heddens (HD46), Rep. Robert Bacon (HD48), Rep. Todd Prichard (HD52), Rep. Sharon Steckman (HD53), Rep. Linda Upmeyer (HD54), Rep. Patti Ruff (HD56), Rep. Deborah Berry (HD62), Rep. Art Staed (HD66), Rep. Kraig Paulsen (HD67), Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (HD69), Rep. Todd Taylor (HD70), Rep. Dave Jacoby (HD74), Rep. Sally Stutsman (HD77), Rep. Jarad Klein (HD78), Rep. Guy Vander Linden (HD79), Rep. Larry Sheets (HD80), Rep. Mary Gaskill (HD81), Rep. Jerry Kearns (HD83), Rep. Mary Mascher (HD86), Rep. Dennis Cohoon (HD87), Rep. Tom Sands (HD88), Rep. Jim Lykam (HD89), Rep. Cindy Winckler (HD90), Rep. Linda Miller (HD94), Rep. Lee Hein (HD96), Rep. Mary Wolfe (HD98), and Rep. Charles Isenhart (HD100).
Five state representatives will face primaries this year (one Democrat and four Republicans). They include the legislator who just won a special election in January (Rep. Rep. Stan Gustafson in HD25) and Rep. Jake Highfill (HD39), Rep. Walt Rogers (HD60), Rep. Dave Heaton (HD84), and Rep. Vicki Lensing (HD85).
Two former state senators have announced they are running for office. Former State Senator Mike Sexton is running for the state representative seat of retiring Rep. Tom Shaw. Former State Senator Tony Bisignano is running in the primary for the state senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jack Hatch, who is running for Governor.
Two former state representatives have also announced their candidacy for state legislative races. Former State Representative Ross Paustian is running against Rep. Frank Wood, who defeated him for the seat in 2012. Former State Representative Ned Chiodo is also running in the primary for Sen. Hatch's seat.