Who are Iowa's superdelegates in 2016?

The Democratic Party’s “superdelegates” have been in the news lately as a potential base of support for Hillary Clinton in what may be a long battle with Bernie Sanders for the presidential nomination. I agree entirely with Pat Rynard that talking about superdelegates as Clinton’s “firewall” plays perfectly into the Sanders campaign narrative of anti-establishment warrior. Furthermore, I support eliminating superdelegates, which came into being before the 1984 presidential campaign as a way to give party insiders more leverage over the nominating process.

Since we’re stuck with superdelegates for this cycle, I’ve named Iowa’s likely representatives below. The Democratic National Committee has yet to confirm the list but is expected to do so next month.

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IA-01: Democrat Steve Sodders thinking about it

State Senator Steve Sodders will “take a serious look” at running for the first Congressional district seat Bruce Braley is vacating. Speaking by telephone yesterday, Sodders said he is in the “very exploratory” phase, talking with different groups and individuals. He currently has no deadline for announcing his plans, but he expects to decide sometime before this summer whether to run in next year’s Democratic primary.

Marshall County Deputy Sheriff Sodders was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008. He was just re-elected to a four-year term in Senate district 36, covering Marshall and Tama counties and a small area in Black Hawk County. Consequently, he would not need to give up his Senate seat to run for Congress. In addition to serving as Senate president pro-tem, Sodders chairs the Economic Growth Committee. I’ve posted his official bio after the jump.

So far State Representative Pat Murphy is the only declared Democratic candidate in the first Congressional district, and Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje is the only declared Republican.

I continue to believe that Iowa Democrats should nominate a woman for this very winnable seat–preferably someone other than the woman who just voted herself a 25 percent raise. I wish Senate President Pam Jochum had not taken herself out of the running so early.

Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread. The latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicate that the 20 counties in IA-01 contain 165,428 active registered Democrats, 137,943 Republicans, and 193,674 no-party voters.

UPDATE: Sodders posted on Facebook on March 11, “Headed to Wash DC next week to talk to several groups and individuals about District 1.” At the end of this post I’ve added more recent comments from Sodders.

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