Brian Meyer only Democrat competing for Iowa House district 33

Following up on yesterday’s news, Des Moines City Council member Brian Meyer will be unchallenged for the Democratic nomination in Iowa House district 33, where a special election is set for October 22. The two Democrats who had announced campaigns, Karl Schilling and Joe Henry, both endorsed Meyer yesterday. Felix Gallagher confirmed by telephone today that he had considered running for the House seat but decided against the race. By the way, I forgot to mention that Gallagher was the treasurer for Desmund Adams’ campaign in Iowa Senate district 22 last year.

Meyer’s press release spoke of entering the race “in the hopes of unifying the party and continuing the good work of former Representative [Kevin] McCarthy.” I don’t see any urgency to unify the party in a district Republicans have no realistic hope of winning. The latest Civic Skinny column in the Des Moines weekly Cityview suggests another reason for Meyer to get into the race:

Word is that Marshalltown’s Mark Smith, who bested Des Moines’ Rick Olson, 24-20, in the caucus vote to succeed Kevin McCarthy as head of the Democrats in the Iowa House, has let go McCarthy’s key aide, Des Moines City Councilman Brian Meyer. The move has surprised – and upset – some Democrats. …

In all likelihood the Iowa House seat will be Meyer’s for as long as he wants it. That would force a special election to replace Meyer as the Des Moines City Council member representing Ward 4. Bleeding Heartland user Columcille raises the interesting possibility of Chris Diebel running for that seat, instead of challenging incumbent Skip Moore for the at-large council seat. UPDATE: A Bleeding Heartland reader alerted me to a big problem with that scenario: Diebel lives in Ward 3, not Ward 4 (city council map here).  

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Iowa House district 33 special election update

Three candidates are competing for the Democratic nomination in Iowa House district 33, which Kevin McCarthy has vacated to take a position in the Attorney General’s Office. Because this district contains 8,142 registered Democrats, 3,334 Republicans, and 5,273 no-party voters, the Democratic nominee is almost guaranteed to win the October 22 special election.

After the jump I’ve posted background on Karl Schilling, Joe Henry, and Felix Gallagher, who are seeking to replace McCarthy, plus details on how the Democratic nominating convention will be conducted on September 4. Regardless of who wins the nomination, I hope all three candidates will compete in next year’s Democratic primary. On principle, I don’t believe ten people on a party central committee should decide who represents 30,000 people in the Iowa House.

I also enclose below a map of House district 33, which covers parts of south and southeast Des Moines.

UPDATE: On August 20 Schilling and Henry dropped out of the race after Des Moines City Council member Brian Meyer announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination for House district 33. Meyer will be the heavy favorite going into the September 4 convention, even if Gallagher stays in the race. I’ve enclosed Meyer’s press release at the end of this post.

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