IA-02: Mark Lofgren is first Republican to challenge Dave Loebsack (updated)

State Representative Mark Lofgren of Muscatine will formally announce tomorrow that he is running against four-term Representative Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second Congressional district, James Q. Lynch reported today for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. After the jump I’ve posted Lofgren’s official bio and material from the “issues” and “endorsements” pages of his campaign website. Of the seventeen current Iowa House Republicans and four former state representatives who have endorsed Lofgren, four live in Loebsack’s district. Dan Dolan, who lost last year’s GOP primary in IA-02 to John Archer, has also endorsed Lofgren.

As of June 2013, the 24 counties in IA-02 contain 170,130 active registered Democrats, 138,390 Republicans, and 180,950 no-party voters. Loebsack defeated Archer by a comfortable margin in 2012, but in the 2010 midterm election he needed help from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to fend off a challenge by Mariannette Miller-Meeks, winning by only about 11,000 votes in what was then a more Democratic-leaning district.

Governor Terry Branstad appointed Miller-Meeks to lead the Iowa Department of Public Health in 2011. The GOP challenger to Loebsack in 2008 as well as 2010, Miller-Meeks has attended some Republican Party events this year and confirmed last week that she is still considering a third Congressional bid. Having fallen short in the 2010 Republican wave, Miller-Meeks would likely face an uphill battle persuading GOP primary voters that she deserves another chance to win this district.

Lofgren’s decision leaves Iowa House district 91 open for the 2014 election cycle. This swing district currently contains 6,300 registered Democrats, 6,291 Republicans, and 8,401 no-party voters. A detailed district map is at the bottom of this post. Democrat Nathan Reichert represented the Muscatine area in the Iowa House for three terms, losing to Lofgren in the 2010 wave. Lofgren defeated Democratic challenger John Dabeet last year by 915 votes.

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Iowa Congressional 2Q fundraising news roundup

Four of Iowa’s five Congressional incumbents go into the final months of the campaign with far more cash on hand than their opponents. Details from the second quarter filings with the Federal Election Commission are after the jump.

The latest round of reports cover funds Congressional candidates raised and spent between May 17 and June 30. Bleeding Heartland covered the first-quarter FEC reports here and the “pre-primary” reports covering April 1 to May 16 here.

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IA-01, IA-02: NRCC bumps up Lange and Archer

The National Republican Congressional Committee just announced the third set of GOP challengers to achieve “young guns” status, “the top tier of the Committee’s four-level ‘Young Guns’ recruitment program.” Two of the seven candidates to make the cut are Ben Lange, who is running against three-term Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s first Congressional district, and John Archer, who is running against three-term Democrat Dave Loebsack in Iowa’s second Congressional district. The NRCC elevated Lange and Archer to “contender” status in May, along with Archer’s primary opponent Dan Dolan.

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Iowa primary election results thread

Polls closed across Iowa at 9 pm, and I will update this post periodically as results come in from around the states. Any comments related to today’s elections are welcome in this thread.

P.S.- As expected, Wisconsin Democrats fell short in their effort to recall Republican Governor Scott Walker.

UPDATE: Results are after the jump.  

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IA-02: Ads and endorsements for Archer and Dolan

The two Republican candidates in Iowa’s second Congressional district have been campaigning hard through personal appearances around southeast Iowa, paid advertising, and direct mail. I have no idea who’s got the upper hand between John Archer, attorney for John Deere and Pleasant Valley School Board member, and Dan Dolan, a successful home-builder. Archer took leave from his job in March in order to campaign full-time. He also started running radio and television commercials sooner. Dolan’s self-funding provided his campaign with more money to spend during the final weeks. The National Republican Congressional Committee has given equal recognition to both candidates.

After the jump I’ve posted the prominent public supporters for each candidate, along with videos and transcripts for Dolan’s latest television commercial and Archer’s latest radio spot.

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Enter Bleeding Heartland's 2012 Iowa primary election prediction contest

Iowa primary elections are coming up next Tuesday, so it’s time for another Bleeding Heartland election prediction contest. A dozen questions are after the jump. There are so many competitive Iowa House and Senate primaries that it was difficult for me to choose. I tried to achieve some geographical balance and cover different types of primaries (open-seat races vs. challenges to incumbents, safe seats for one party vs. swing districts).

To enter the contest, post your predictions as comments in this thread before 7 am 6 pm on June 5. Predictions submitted by e-mail will not be considered. It’s ok to change your mind, as long as you post your revised predictions as an additional comment in this thread before the deadline.

No money’s at stake here, just bragging rights. This isn’t like “The Price is Right”; the winning answers will be closest to the final results, whether or not they were a little high or low. Even if you have no idea, please try to take a guess on every question.

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