IA-01: Rick Santorum and several state legislators backing Walt Rogers

In July 2011, State Representative Walt Rogers endorsed former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum for president. Today Santorum returned the favor by announcing that he and his Patriot Voices PAC support Rogers’ campaign for the open seat in Iowa’s first Congressional district. I’ve posted Santorum’s full endorsement after the jump.

When Rogers formed his exploratory committee last month, he said several fellow Iowa House Republicans had encouraged him to run for Congress. A few days ago, the Rogers campaign rolled out endorsements from four current and three former Republican lawmakers whose districts include parts of IA-01. I enclose that statement below as well. Former Congressman Tom Tauke is also backing Rogers’ current campaign. Tauke represented parts of northeast Iowa in the U.S. House before losing the 1990 U.S. Senate race to Tom Harkin.

Any comments about the IA-01 race are welcome in this thread. Besides Rogers, Rod Blum and Steve Rathje are seeking the GOP nomination. Former Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate is expected to announce his campaign soon, and former State Representative Renee Schulte has said she is considering the race.  

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Medicaid abortion funding ban a bridge too far for Branstad administration

Opposing all government funding for abortion is settled dogma among Iowa Republican activists and elected officials. For two years in a row, Senate Democrats have blocked attempts to write new restrictions on Medicaid abortion coverage into the budget for the state Department of Human Services. Now DHS Director Chuck Palmer has signaled that taking control of the upper chamber may not give Republicans the power to restrict the choices of low-income women.

Palmer’s action puts Governor Terry Branstad in an awkward position, and a legislature completely under GOP control could create a political nightmare for Branstad, a proud “pro-lifer” throughout his career.

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Weekend open thread: Candidate filing deadline edition

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.

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Brian Schoenjahn still lacks a GOP challenger in Iowa Senate district 32

MARCH 16 UPDATE: Republican Elliott Henderson of Independence qualified for the ballot on the last day of the filing period. Bleeding Heartland will discuss his campaign in a future post.

State Senator Brian Schoenjahn confirmed today that he is running for re-election in the new Senate district 32. This politically balanced seat is a must-win for Democrats hoping to retain their majority in the upper chamber. With barely a month to go before the filing deadline for state legislative candidates, Republicans do not yet have a challenger in this district.

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Iowa House district 64 preview: Dan Rasmussen vs Bruce Bearinger

MARCH 16 UPDATE: Rasmussen did not file for re-election. The Republican candidate in this district is Jim Givant; Bleeding Heartland will cover his campaign in a future post.

Iowa’s new map of political boundaries created a large number of competitive House and Senate districts in the northeast part of the state. Yesterday Democrat Bruce Bearinger announced his candidacy in the new House district 64, now represented by Republican Dan Rasmussen. A district map and background on both candidates are after the jump.

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Who's who in the Iowa House for 2012

Although the 60 Republicans and 40 Democrats in the Iowa House haven’t changed since last year, I thought it was worth updating this post, because some committee assignments have changed, and House Democrats reshuffled their ranking members somewhat.

Majority and minority leadership teams are after the jump, along with all members of standing House committees. All 100 House districts are on the ballot every two years, so I’ve noted the new district numbers for state representatives seeking re-election in 2012, as well as which House members have said they will retire after this year’s legislative session.

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