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SD-34

IA-01 Democratic candidate news roundup

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Jan 29, 2015 at 09:52:40 AM CST

Another Democrat is moving closer to a Congressional bid in Iowa's first district. The Daily Iowan reported several days ago that Ravi Patel "is assembling campaign operatives and meeting with influential donors in Eastern Iowa in preparation for the run." He is best known as principal and president of Hawkeye Hotels, a fast-growing company his parents established. Pat Rynard wrote on the Iowa Starting Line blog that Patel "has built connections from holding many fundraisers for Democratic candidates" and is "an entrepreneur involved in many startup businesses."

If he runs for Congress, Patel told the Daily Iowan that his campaign "would be data-driven and heavy on social media." His biggest potential weakness would probably be his youth (current age: 29). Iowans have nominated some young candidates who faced competitive primaries against more experienced rivals, most recently Ben Lange, the GOP's 2012 nominee in IA-01. But despite a lot of excitement on social media, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic didn't make much headway with IA-01 Democratic voters, finishing fourth in the 2014 primary. Anecdotally, many Democrats liked Kajtazovic but questioned whether she had enough experience for the job she was seeking. Patel would also be competing against others who have more longstanding ties to the district. Although he owns a home in Cedar Rapids now, he has spent most of his life in either Burlington or Iowa City, which are located in the second Congressional district.

The front-runner in the Democratic primary remains Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon, who last week added her first labor union endorsement to the long list of sate legislators backing her second bid for Congress. After the jump I've posted the press release announcing the Teamsters Local 238 endorsement of Vernon. That local did not endorse in the 2014 primary to represent IA-01, but two other Teamsters locals backed the eventual winner Pat Murphy. Note: the press release mentions that Teamsters Local 238 has approximately 6,000 members. A representative for the union told me that between 2,000 and 2,500 of those members live in the IA-01 counties.

Other Democrats considering a bid in IA-01 include former Governor Chet Culver, former State Senator Swati Dandekar (who placed third in the 2014 primary), and former Saturday Night Live actor Gary Kroeger. His most recent blog post, which I've excerpted below, takes a quick look at the history of America's major political parties with a view to reducing the "vitriol in our disagreements." Kroeger posted today on Facebook that if elected to Congress, he would push for creating a national jobs program inspired by a non-profit foundation he profiled at his blog a couple of years ago.

Any comments about the IA-01 race are welcome in this thread. Republican blogger Craig Robinson pointed out recently that GOP incumbent Rod Blum will benefit tremendously from having U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley on the ballot in 2016.

It's also worth noting that at least three and perhaps as many as six battleground Iowa Senate races will be located within IA-01 next year. State Senator Jeff Danielson will seek a fourth term in Senate district 30, covering parts of Waterloo and Cedar Falls; he faced well-funded challengers in his last two re-election campaigns. State Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm won by just 126 votes in Senate district 26 in 2012. I expect the GOP to target that district, half of which is in IA-01 and half in IA-04. Republicans are less likely to mount a serious challenge against either State Senator Liz Mathis in Senate district 34 or State Senator Brian Schoenjahn in Senate district 32, but a surprise retirement would instantly make either of those races competitive. Meanwhile, Democrats are likely to target Senate district 28, where GOP State Senator Mike Breitbach won by only 17 votes in 2012. First-term Senator Dan Zumbach could also face a serious challenger in Senate district 48. After the jump I've posted a map showing all the Iowa Senate district lines. UPDATE: Perhaps I should also have mentioned Democratic State Senator Steve Sodders (SD-36) and Republican Tim Kapucian (SD-38), who will be up for re-election in 2016 as well in counties that are part of IA-01. I haven't heard of potentially strong challengers in either Iowa Senate district, but that could change before next spring.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 508 words in story)

Where things stand in the Iowa Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:51:34 AM CST

Democrats are assured of maintaining their majority in the Iowa Senate, with one race headed for a recount and another to be decided in a December 11 special election.
There's More... :: (9 Comments, 470 words in story)

Democratic and Republican party spending in the Iowa Senate races

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 19:16:09 PM CST

Candidates for the Iowa legislature were required to submit campaign finance disclosure reports on October 19 and November 2. The Schedule E forms on "In-Kind Contributions" contained the most interesting numbers, because they showed how Democratic and Republican party leaders are allocating resources across the battleground districts.

After the jump I've enclosed in-kind contribution figures for the Senate districts expected to be in play tomorrow. Candidates running in other Senate races did not report large in-kind contributions from their respective parties.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 794 words in story)

Four strategies for interest group Iowa legislative endorsements

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 07:47:54 AM CST

Many candidates for the Iowa House and Senate tout endorsements by outside groups in their campaign communications. Some of those groups pay for direct mail, phone calls, or even advertising supporting their endorsed candidates.

Iowa's influential political action committees and advocacy groups have very different ways of getting involved in the state legislative campaign. Follow me after the jump for examples of four distinct strategies.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 1627 words in story)

First look at the Obama and Romney ground games in Iowa

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Aug 24, 2012 at 06:45:00 AM CDT

At this time four years ago, Barack Obama's campaign had about 30 field offices up and running in Iowa, compared to six offices for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

Obama's campaign has had eight Iowa field offices open this summer and is rolling out another 26 offices around Iowa this weekend. So far, Mitt Romney's campaign has ten Iowa field offices, in addition to the unified Republican headquarters in Urbandale.

After the jump, I compare the field office locations for each presidential campaign, grouped by Iowa Congressional district. Where relevant, I've also noted competitive Iowa House and Senate districts near the Obama and Romney field offices, although I doubt either presidential campaign will do much for down-ticket Democratic or Republican candidates.

There's More... :: (7 Comments, 1966 words in story)

Ryan Flood will face Liz Mathis in Iowa Senate district 34

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:40:00 AM CDT

Ryan Flood won an uncontested district nominating convention yesterday to become the new Republican nominee in Iowa Senate district 34, covering several suburbs of Cedar Rapids in Linn County.  
There's More... :: (5 Comments, 437 words in story)

Former Iowa Senate district 34 GOP candidate explains her decision (updated)

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:55:00 AM CDT

Randi Shannon, the former Republican candidate in Iowa Senate district 34, was a guest on yesterday's edition of the Fallon Forum webcast. During the program, she explained her decision to accept an appointment to a shadow U.S. Senate rather than run for the Iowa legislature. I've posted the YouTube video of the program after the jump. The relevant part of the conversation begins around the 11-minute mark and continues for about 15 minutes.

Republicans in Senate district 34 will select a replacement candidate to face Democrat Liz Mathis during the next few weeks.

There's More... :: (4 Comments, 371 words in story)

The wackiest Iowa political story of the decade?

by: desmoinesdem

Sat Jul 14, 2012 at 16:10:00 PM CDT

Friday the 13th sure was unlucky for Iowa Republicans, who must go back to the drawing board in the new Senate district 34. GOP nominee Randi Shannon dropped out of the race against Democratic State Senator Liz Mathis with a statement more bizarre than anything I can remember in major-party Iowa politics.  
There's More... :: (13 Comments, 1468 words in story)

Weekend open thread: Candidate filing deadline edition

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Mar 16, 2012 at 20:26:59 PM CDT

I'm posting the weekend thread early, because the filing period for primary election candidates in Iowa closed this afternoon. The Secretary of State's Office posted the full list of candidates here (pdf). John Deeth has been covering the filing on a daily basis all month at his blog. Some highlights from races I'm watching are after the jump.

This is an open thread; all topics welcome.

UPDATE: Gotta agree with Senator Chuck Grassley: the History Channel is useless.

There's More... :: (9 Comments, 1726 words in story)

IA-01: Rod Blum joins Republican field against Braley

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Oct 24, 2011 at 07:25:15 AM CDT

Dubuque businessman Rod Blum will formally announce today that he is seeking the Republican nomination in the first Congressional district. Blum considered running against Democrat Bruce Braley during the last election cycle, and I suspect he would have had a much better chance of winning the primary and general elections in 2010.
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1664 words in story)

IA-01: Ben Lange exploring rematch against Braley (updated)

by: desmoinesdem

Wed Oct 12, 2011 at 07:09:00 AM CDT

Republican Ben Lange will formally announce today that he is exploring a second campaign against three-term incumbent Bruce Braley in Iowa's first Congressional district.
There's More... :: (1 Comments, 1310 words in story)

Republicans nominate Cindy Golding for Iowa Senate district 18

by: desmoinesdem

Thu Sep 22, 2011 at 23:29:58 PM CDT

Linn County Republican Party co-chair Cindy Golding won the GOP nomination for the November 8 special election in Iowa Senate district 18 tonight. To my surprise, Golding won enough votes on the first ballot against Mary Rathje and Matt Dummermuth.

UPDATE: Republicans will need a new candidate for the Cedar Rapids suburban swing district in 2012, even if Golding wins this year's special election. Details are at the end of this post.

There's More... :: (3 Comments, 745 words in story)

Swati Dandekar resigning, forcing Iowa Senate district 18 special election

by: desmoinesdem

Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 15:57:50 PM CDT

Democratic State Senator Swati Dandekar is stepping down from the legislature in order to accept an appointment to the Iowa Utilities Board, the Des Moines Register reported today. Her resignation forces a special election this fall in Iowa Senate district 18, which covers suburban and rural areas in Linn County.

Democrats currently hold a 26-24 Iowa Senate majority, so a Republican victory in the special election would deadlock the upper chamber for the 2012 legislative session. Follow me after the jump for a district map and first take on the race to replace Dandekar.

There's More... :: (10 Comments, 1344 words in story)
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