A rematch looms in Iowa House district 95 between Republican Quentin Stanerson and Democrat Kristin Keast. After the previous incumbent, Democratic State Representative Nate Willems, opted to run for Iowa Senate district 48, Stanerson defeated Keast in district 95 by just 200 votes (barely more than 1 percent of votes cast). That was the sixth-closest result in the 100 Iowa House races. Republicans Chris Hagenow, Tedd Gassman, Larry Sheets, and Sandy Salmon and Democrat Daniel Lundby won each of their races by fewer than 200 votes.
The Iowa House Democrats announced on Tuesday that Keast will run again in House district 95. After the jump I've posted a district map, the latest voter registration numbers, and background on Keast and Stanerson. To my knowledge, this was the only 2012 Iowa election in which both major-party nominees were teachers.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread. I consider House district 95 one of about a dozen races that will determine control of the Iowa House in 2015 and 2016.
House district 95 covers a large area in Linn County outside the Cedar Rapids metro and some rural precincts in Buchanan County.
As of July 2013, House district 95 contained 6,997 registered Democrats, 6,541 Republicans, and 8,859 no-party voters according to the Iowa Secretary of State's office.
Biography of Stanerson from the Iowa House Republicans website:
Quentin was born and raised in Conroy, Iowa. His parents still live there today. He attended Williamsburg High School.
After high school Quentin enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. While serving he traveled overseas on multiple deployments. He was head of a Tactical Air Control Party and assisted in the calling in of Close Air Support. After the Marine Corps I enrolled at Kirkwood Community College.
Quentin received his associates and then transferred to Coe College where he received his bachelors in History. He received his Masters in Education Administration from Grand Canyon University.
Quentin teaches middle school and high school social studies at North Linn Community School District. He teaches the subjects of U.S. History, Psychology, Sociology, Geography, Economics and Government. He is the head middle school wrestling coach and assistant high school wrestling coach. Quentin also coaches middle school track in the spring.
Quentin and his wife, Nikki, live in Center Point with their three children. Jack is 6, Lucy is 3, and Ella is 8 weeks. Nikki is a graduate of Mount Mercy College and a nurse in Cedar Rapids.
Iowa House Democrats press release of July 23:
Keast to Run for State Representative
Mt. Vernon, Iowa - Kristi Keast of Mt. Vernon announced today she will run for the Iowa House in District 95, which includes part of Buchanan County and most of Linn County except Cedar Rapids and Marion.
"It's time for us to build an economy that works for the middle class. As an educator, I've spent my life working with kids to build our skilled workforce and prepare them for the jobs of the 21st Century. We must do more to help each child be successful," said Keast, a Democrat.
Keast is a music teacher at Washington Elementary School in Mt. Vernon and has been in the classroom for nearly 30 years, serving in both public and parochial schools. She graduated from Westmar College in Le Mars and earned her Masters in music education from the University of Iowa. She achieved National Board certification in 2005 and has helped train candidates working to earn their own certification.
"It's time for new leadership in the Iowa House. We need to put aside the divisive issues and work together to move our state forward. I look forward to meeting folks at their doorstep and listening to their ideas for Iowa," added Keast.
Keast grew up in Southwest Iowa active in 4-H and then served as a leader and project leader when her own kids were in Linn County 4-H. Her family still farms the same land, including her grandfather's land. She is an active member of the Mt. Vernon Education Association and has served as President of the East Central Uniserv Unit and is presently on the ISEA Executive Board helping support local educators.
Keast is an active member of First United Methodist Church, serving as a church musician, singing in two groups, performing piano, and directing bells and youth choir. She also participates in the Mt. Vernon Community Band and has worked in community theatre. Keast is a member of the Entre Nous book club and PEO.
Keast has three grown children and four grandchildren.