2010 Essential Races - Who Would You Support?

[cross-posted at www.DLCC.org]

Let's try something different:  Which legislative races do you care about?

Out of over 6,000 state legislative districts up for grabs this year, we've chosen 40 key races to highlight on our 2010 “Essential Races” list.  These are 40 critical races that we anticipate will show which way the political tide is turning this fall.

But we recognize our own limitations. There are plenty of other key races all across the country — so we're asking for your help in identifying them.

For the next few weeks, we'll be accepting nominations from the public for 10 additional state legislative races to be added to our 2010 “Essential Races” list.

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Bad Attention: Iowa GOP House Candidate Under Fire for LGBT, AIDS Smears

(Note: at least one other Republican state legislative candidate thinks the Iowa GOP was wrong to rebuke Jeremy Walters. - promoted by desmoinesdem)

[cross-posted at DLCC.org]

A Republican candidate for the Iowa House has found himself under recent scrutiny for some reprehensible comments he posted on his Facebook page.

The Iowa Independent broke the story Tuesday, revealing that Jeremy Walters, who is running against the Democratic Majority Leader of the Iowa state House, posted some incendiary remarks regarding AIDS and homosexuality on his Facebook page last week (he’s since removed them in a belated fit of remorse, but that’s what screenshots are for). Walters wrote that when the Bible says homosexuals should be “put to death; their blood shall be upon them,” the “blood” is actually AIDS.

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For all those ambitious Bleeding Heartlanders...

Juice Magazine, the Register's weekly aimed at young people, has a cover story this week on young people running for office.  They interview several young elected officials, including Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Michael Kiernan and` Democratic State Reps. Kirsten Running-Marquardt and Elesha Gayman.

The article obviously focuses on Des Moines, but the rationale for having young people in politics can be applied to just about anywhere:

If Des Moines is going to be a great place for young professionals to live, we need more of us in public service. We need to be at the table, crafting the decisions that mold the direction of Des Moines.

 The article is hardly a detailed blueprint on how to run for office, but it's still interesting to read about the different strategies candidates use when they're first starting out. For example, Michael Kiernan used family and work connections to spread the word about his campaign and raise money, while Elesha Gayman actively sought support online from national progressive groups.

 In Iowa we get used to seeing presidential candidates and their large campaign entourages so frequently that it's easy to forget about the lesser-known campaigns without a big staff and gobs of money. On the local level, though, energetic young candidates with fresh ideas are still essential.

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