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Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2012

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 11:41:20 AM CST


The November special election in Iowa Senate district 18 confirmed that Democrats will maintain a 26 to 24 majority in the upper chamber during the legislature's 2012 session, set to begin on January 9.

Senate Democrats and Republicans recently announced updated committee assignments. Majority and minority leadership teams are after the jump, along with all members of standing committees. I've also noted which senators are up for re-election in 2012 and which are retiring next year.

desmoinesdem :: Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2012
Iowa Senate Democratic leadership team

Majority Leader Mike Gronstal (bio) was first elected in 1984 from a district covering most of Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County. Gronstal is up for re-election in the new Senate district 8; his likely Republican opponent is Al Ringgenberg.

Senate President Jack Kibbie (bio) served a term in the Iowa Senate during the 1960s and was later elected six times, beginning in 1988. He represents the "old" district 4, covering Emmet, Kossuth, Palo Alto, Pocahontas and Humboldt Counties, plus part of Webster County. The new map of political boundaries put Kibbie in a much more Republican area of northwest Iowa; he is retiring after the 2012 legislative session.

Assistant majority leaders:

Joe Bolkcom (bio) was first elected in 1998 from a district covering most of Iowa City in Johnson County. He holds over until 2014 in the new Senate district 43.

Bill Dotzler (bio) was first elected in 2002 from a district covering a large area in Waterloo in Black Hawk County. He holds over until 2014 in the new Senate district 31.

Wally Horn (bio) was first elected in 1978 from Cedar Rapids in Linn County. He holds over until 2014 in the new Senate district 35.

Amanda Ragan (bio) was first elected in 2002 from the "old" district 7, covering Floyd and Mitchell counties and part of Cerro Gordo, including Mason City. She holds over until 2014 in the new Senate district 27, which still includes Mason City and most of Cerro Gordo but now covers Franklin and most of Butler County instead of Floyd and Mitchell.

Steve Sodders (bio) was first elected in 2008 from the old district 22, covering Hardin and Marshall Counties. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 36, covering Marshall and Tama Counties and part of Black Hawk.

Iowa Senate Republican leadership team

Minority leader Jerry Behn (bio) was first elected in 1996 and currently represents most of Boone and Dallas counties. Behn is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 24, covering all of Boone, Hamilton, and Greene counties and part of Webster.

Minority whip Brad Zaun (bio) was first elected in 2004 from the old district 32, covering Urbandale and part of Des Moines in Polk County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new Senate district 20, covering Urbandale, Johnston and Grimes.

Assistant minority leaders:

Merlin Bartz (bio) served for 10 years in the Iowa Senate, left elected office for seven years, then won the 2008 election in district 6, covering Winnebago, Worth, Hancock, Franklin and much of Cerro Gordo County outside Mason City. In 2012 he will face Democratic State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm in the new district 26, covering Worth, Mitchell, Floyd, Howard and Chickasaw counties, part of Cerro Gordo (but not Mason City or Clear Lake) and part of Winneshiek (but not Decorah).

David Johnson (bio) was first elected in 2002 from a district covering Osceola, Dickinson, Clay and O'Brien Counties, plus part of Sioux. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 1, covering Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay and Palo Alto counties.

Tim Kapucian (bio) was first elected in 2008 from a district covering Benton and Grundy counties, most of Tama and part of Iowa County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 38, covering all of Benton, Iowa and Poweshiek counties.

Roby Smith was first elected in 2010 from a district centered in Bettendorf and Davenport in Scott County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 47, which hasn't changed much. His official bio page on the Senate Republicans' website contains no background information.

Pat Ward (bio), first elected in 2004 from district 30, covering Clive, Windsor Heights and most of West Des Moines in Polk County. The redistricting plan put her in the new district 21, paired with Democratic State Senator Matt McCoy. Ward has said she will move to a different West Des Moines neighborhood and run for re-election in the new district 22 next year. A more conservative Republican, Jeff Mullen, has also announced his candidacy in Senate district 22.

Iowa Senate Standing Commitees

Agriculture

Chair: Joe Seng (bio) was first elected in 2002 from district 43, covering Davenport in Scott County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 45.

Vice Chair: Gene Fraise (bio) has served in the Iowa Senate since 1984 and is retiring after the 2012 session.

Ranking member: David Johnson (see bio above)

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Tod Bowman (D), Tom Courtney (D), Tom Hancock (D), Jack Kibbie (D), Tom Rielly (D), Sandy Greiner (R), Jim Hahn (R), Hubert Houser (R), Tim Kapucian (R)

Appropriations

Chair: Bob Dvorsky (bio) was first elected in 1994 and currently represents district 15, covering parts of Johnson and Linn Counties, including Coralville. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 37, covering Coralvill e and a large area in Johnson County as well as Cedar County. He is married to Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky.

Vice Chair: Matt McCoy (bio) has represented parts of Des Moines in the Iowa Senate since 1994. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 21, covering much of the south side of Des Moines and part of West Des Moines in Polk County.

Ranking member: Bill Dix (bio) was just elected to his first term in the Iowa Senate in 2010. He previously served in the Iowa House for ten years, rising to the position of House Appropriations Committee chair. He lost the November 2011 Senate Republican leadership election to Jerry Behn.

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Joe Bolkcom (D), Jeff Danielson (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Gene Fraise (D), Tom Hancock (D), Jack Hatch (D), Rob Hogg (D), Pam Jochum (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Merlin Bartz (R), Nancy Boettger (R), Hubert Houser (R), David Johnson (R), Tim Kapucian (R), Steve Kettering (R), Jim Seymour (R)

Commerce

Chair: Matt McCoy moved up to this position after Swati Dandekar resigned from the Iowa Senate to accept a spot on the Iowa Utilities Board.

Vice Chair: Tom Rielly (bio)was first elected in 2004 from the old district 38. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the much more conservative-leaning district 40, covering Mahaska, Monroe and Appanoose counties and parts of Wapello and Marion.

Ranking member: Bill Anderson (bio) was just elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 from the old district 27. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 3, covering much of Woodbury County (including southern neighborhoods in Sioux City) and most of Plymouth County.

Other members: Daryl Beall (D), Joe Bolkcom (D), Tom Courtney (D), Liz Mathis (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Joe Seng (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Rick Bertrand (R), Randy Feenstra (R), Steve Kettering (R), Pat Ward (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Economic Growth

Chair: Steve Sodders (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Bill Dotzler (see bio above)

Ranking member: Sandy Greiner (bio) served in the Iowa House from 1993-2000 and from 2003-2008, and spent two years in the Iowa Senate in 2001 and 2002. She came out of political retirement to defeat Democratic State Senator Becky Schmitz in 2010 from the old district 45. She holds over until 2014 in the new district 39, covering part of Johnson County, most of Washington County and all of Keokuk County. Greiner is also board president of the American Future Fund, a 501(c)4 organization that has spent heavily in elections in Iowa and around the country.

Other members: Tod Bowman (D), Jeff Danielson (D), Jack Hatch (D), Wally Horn (D), Liz Mathis (D), Tom Rielly (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Rob Bacon (R), Rick Bertrand (R), Mark Chelgren (R), Pat Ward (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Education  

Chair: Herman Quirmbach (bio) was first elected in 2002 from the old district 23, covering Ames and immediate surroundings in Story County and a portion of eastern Boone County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 23, covering Ames and some rural areas in Story County.

Vice Chair: Brian Schoenjahn (bio) was first elected in 2004 from the old district 12, covering Clayton County and parts of Delaware and Fayette Counties. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 32, covering Bremer County and parts of Fayette, Buchanan and Black Hawk.

Ranking member: Shawn Hamerlinck (bio) was first elected in 2008 from district 42, covering most of Scott County outside the Quad Cities and part of Clinton County. He is up for re-election in 2012 but hasn't made clear whether he intends to seek another term. The new map paired him with Republican State Senator Jim Hahn in the new district 46.

Other members: Tod Bowman (D), Daryl Beall (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Rob Hogg (D), Steve Sodders (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Nancy Boettger (R), Randy Feenstra (R), David Johnson (R), Roby Smith (R)

Ethics

This committee has three members from each party in accordance with Iowa law.

Co-chair: Jack Kibbie (see bio above)

Co-chair: Paul McKinley (bio) was first elected in 2000 from the old district 36, covering Marion, Lucas and Monroe Counties, plus the western portion of Mahaska. McKinley resigned as Senate Republican leader in November and announced that he will retire after the 2012 legislative session.

Other members: Gene Fraise (D), Joe Seng (D), Jerry Behn (R), Steve Kettering (R)

Human Resources

Chair: Amanda Ragan (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Mary Jo Wilhelm (bio) was first elected in 2008 from the old district 8, covering Allamakee, Winneshiek, Howard and Chickasaw Counties. She is up for re-election next year and will face GOP Senator Merlin Bartz in the new district 26.

Ranking member: Jim Seymour (bio) was first elected to the Senate in 2002. It's not clear whether he will be on the ballot in 2012. The new map paired him with fellow Republican Nancy Boettger in the new district 9, covering Harrison, Shelby, Ida, and Monona counties, plus parts of Crawford and Woodbury. If Boettger retires, Seymour would hold over until 2014. If he retires, Boettger holds over, and if both run, they will face off in the June 2012 Republican primary.

Other members: Joe Bolkcom (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Jack Hatch (D), Pam Jochum (D), Liz Mathis (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Rob Bacon (R), Nancy Boettger (R), David Johnson (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Judiciary

Chair: Gene Fraise (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Rob Hogg (bio) was first elected in 2006 from the old district 19, covering northeast and southeast Cedar Rapids in Linn County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 33, covering a slightly different area in Cedar Rapids.

Ranking member: Nancy Boettger (bio) has served in the Iowa Senate since 1995. She may be on the ballot in the new district 9 in 2012, if both she and Republican Senator Jim Seymour run for re-election. If he retires, she would hold over until 2014.

Other members: Bob Dvorsky (D), Tom Hancock (D), Wally Horn (D), Pam Jochum (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Steve Sodders (D), Bill Dix (R), Kent Sorenson (R), Pat Ward (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Labor and Business Relations

Chair: Wally Horn (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Pam Jochum (bio) was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008 from district 14, covering the city of Dubuque in Dubuque County. She is up for re-election in the new district 50, covering largely the same area.

Ranking member: Pat Ward (see bio above)

Other members: Tom Courtney (D), Dick Dearden (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Gene Fraise (D), Jack Hatch (D), Bill Anderson (R), Rick Bertrand (R), Mark Chelgren (R)

Local Government

Chair: Mary Jo Wilhelm (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Daryl Beall (bio) was first elected in 2002 from the old district 25, covering most of Webster County, including Fort Dodge, Greene and Calhoun Counties. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 5, covering Humboldt, Pocahontas and Calhoun counties and most of Webster County, including Fort Dodge.

Ranking member: Merlin Bartz (see bio above)

Other members: Tod Bowman (D), Tom Courtney (D), Tom Rielly (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Rob Bacon (R), Joni Ernst (R), Shawn Hamerlinck (R)

Natural Resources and Environment

Chair: Dick Dearden (bio) was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992 and currently represents district 34, covering much of the east side of Des Moines and Pleasant Hill in Polk County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 16, covering a similar area in Polk County.

Vice Chair: Dennis Black (bio) has served in the Senate since 1995 and now represents most of Jasper County and part of southeast Polk County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 15, also covering most of Jasper and a large area in eastern Polk County.

Ranking member: Jim Hahn (bio) was first elected in 2004 from district 40, covering Cedar County, most of Muscatine County and a small part of Johnson County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 46.

Other members: Joe Bolkcom (D), Tom Hancock (D), Rob Hogg (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Joe Seng (D), Joni Ernst (R), Jim Hahn (R), Shawn Hamerlinck (R), Tim Kapucian (R)

Rules and Administration

Chair: Mike Gronstal (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Jack Kibbie (see bio above)

Ranking member: Jerry Behn (see bio above)

Other members: Tom Courtney (D), Jeff Danielson (D), Dick Dearden (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Merlin Bartz (R), Paul McKinley (R), Brad Zaun (R)

State Government  

Chair: Jeff Danielson (bio) was first elected in 2004 from district 10, covering Cedar Falls, part of Waterloo and some rural areas in Black Hawk County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 30, covering a similar area.

Vice Chair: Jack Kibbie (see bio above)

Ranking member: Kent Sorenson (bio) was just elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010 from the old district 37. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 13, covering a similar area in Warren and Madison counties.

Other members: Dick Dearden (D), Gene Fraise (D), Pam Jochum (D), Jack Hatch (D), Wally Horn (D), Matt McCoy (D), Steve Sodders (D), Rick Bertrand (R), Mark Chelgren (R), Bill Dix (R), Randy Feenstra (R), Roby Smith (R)

Transportation

Chair: Tom Rielly (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Tod Bowman (bio) was narrowly elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010, representing the old district 13 in Jackson and Clinton counties. Thanks to fellow Senate Democrat Tom Hancock's decision to retire, Bowman holds over until 2014 in the new district 29, covering Jackson, most of Dubuque County (but not the city of Dubuque) and a large area in Jones County.

Ranking member: Tim Kapucian (see bio above)

Other members: Daryl Beall (D), Jeff Danielson (D), Dick Dearden (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Tom Hancock (D), Matt McCoy (D), Joni Ernst (R), Jim Hahn (R), Hubert Houser (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Ways & Means

Chair: Joe Bolkcom (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Joe Seng (see bio above)

Ranking member: Randy Feenstra (bio) was first elected to the Senate in 2008 from district 2, covering Lyon County, most of Sioux and Plymouth Counties. He is up for re-election in 2012 from the new district 2, covering Sioux, O'Brien and Cherokee counties.

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Rob Hogg (D), Pam Jochum (D), Liz Mathis (D), Matt McCoy (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Bill Anderson (R), Merlin Bartz (R), Mark Chelgren (R), Roby Smith (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Veterans Affairs

Chair: Daryl Beall (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Jeff Danielson (see bio above)

Ranking member: Jim Seymour (see bio above)

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Wally Horn (D), Jack Kibbie (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Steve Sodders (D), Rob Bacon (R), Joni Ernst (R), Sandy Greiner (R)

Budget Subcommittees

Administration and Regulation

Chair: Pam Jochum (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Jeff Danielson (see bio above)

Ranking member: Merlin Bartz (see bio above)

Agriculture/Natural Resources

Chair: Dennis Black (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Dick Dearden (see bio above)

Ranking member: Hubert Houser (see bio above)

Economic Development

Chair: Bill Dotzler (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Joe Seng (see bio above)

Ranking member: Nancy Boettger (see bio above)

Education

Chair: Brian Schoenjahn (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Herman Quirmbach (see bio above)

Ranking member: Bill Dix (see bio above)

Health and Human Services

Chair: Jack Hatch (bio) was first elected in 2002 from district 33, covering much of central Des Moines in Polk County. He holds over until 2014 in the new district 17, covering a similar area.

Vice Chair: Amanda Ragan (see bio above)

Ranking member: David Johnson (see bio above)

Justice Systems

Chair: Tom Hancock (bio) was first elected in 2004 from the old district 16, covering Jones County, most of Delaware County and most of Dubuque County outside the city of Dubuque. He opted to retire next year after the redistricting plan paired him with fellow Democrat Tod Bowman in the new district 29.

Vice Chair: Rob Hogg (see bio above)

Ranking member: Jim Seymour (see bio above)

Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals

Chair: Matt McCoy (see bio above)

Vice Chair: Daryl Beall (see bio above)

Ranking member: Tim Kapucian (see bio above)

Government Oversight

Chair: Tom Courtney (bio) was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2000. He currently represents district 44, covering Des Moines and Louisa Counties, plus a sliver of Muscatine County. He is up for re-election in 2012 in the new district 44, covering Des Moines and Louisa Counties, plus a larger area in Muscatine.

Vice Chair: Steve Sodders (see bio above)

Ranking member: Kent Sorenson (see bio above)

UPDATE: The full list of Senate Republican committee assignments by member is here (pdf).

The Democratic committee assignments are here.

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great resource (4.00 / 3)
Now it is up to IA Dems to hold the senate so that you don't have to do a massive rewrite in a year ;-)

don't necessarily mind rewriting (4.00 / 2)
if the updated version were missing names like Bartz and Hamerlinck.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
Date? (0.00 / 0)
When do the appointments take effect?  Immediately?  When the legislature meets in January?

Also, I'm seeing the link for the GOP list, but not for the Democratic list.


here's the link (0.00 / 0)
for the Democratic committee assignments. These and the GOP assignments are for the 2012 legislative session, but as far as I know, none of the standing committees are scheduled to meet before January 9.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
For Fun (0.00 / 0)
If one were inclined to contribute money direct to a Senate Dem (incumbent and/or challenger), where would one's money best be spent?  Races where the Dem is competitive, and where the GOPer is someone Dems would like to take out.. i.e. Bartz, Hamerlink. Not contests where the Dem is a shoe-in, or where the Dem has no shot. Consider it a parlor game.  

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