Update on Iowa House districts 90 and 21

Governor Chet Culver has set September 1 as the date for the special election in Iowa House district 90, which includes Van Buren and parts of Wapello and Jefferson counties. The seat opened up when State Representative John Whitaker decided to take a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

If you live within striking distance of this district, please consider volunteering for Democratic candidate Curt Hanson. His campaign website is here, and he's also on Twitter and Facebook. This will be a low-turnout election, so a strong volunteer effort will be essential.

According to Bleeding Heartland user im4klein, the GOP will announce its candidate in House district 90 today or tomorrow. Supposedly he is a farmer who has won elections in the past. Sounds like a county supervisor to me, but we'll find out soon enough.

UPDATE: The Republican candidate for this special election is indeed a county supervisor--to be more precise, Jefferson County supervisor Stephen Burgmeier. Click the link to read his press release. The last time Burgmeier was on my radar screen, he and his fellow supervisors had passed a resolution on April 27, 2009, asking the Iowa legislature to stop same-sex marriages. Burgmeier's timing was either brilliant (because April 27 was the first day for legal same-sex marriages in Iowa) or stupid (because the legislature had just adjourned for the year on April 26). I expect him to make gay marriage a major issue in this special election campaign.

SECOND UPDATE: According to The Iowa Republican's Al Swearengen,

Ed Failor Jr. and Iowans for Tax Relief are running the entire campaign effort in the [House district 90] special election...

Word is that Failor has committeed big dollars to the race and already has his ITR staff embedded in the district and running the race... [...]

Anybody that questions the power and influence of Failor and ITR need to look no further than this race...they are running this race...and are in charge of all [Iowa] House and Senate elections...

Meanwhile, the Des Moines Register reports,

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating a case that involves a state audit that indicates a representative shortchanged an Iowa school $37,000, a state spokesman confirmed today.

No charges have been filed against Rep. Kerry Burt, D-Waterloo, but if the accusations prove to be accurate, they ultimately could lead to his removal from office, according to Iowa law.

House Speaker Pat Murphy told the Register, "I think [Burt] has a very good record, and I stand behind him at this point, and I'm 100 percent with him." I hope Murphy has a plan B in case the criminal investigation confirms the allegations in the state auditor's report. Burt's seat wasn't going to be an easy hold even before this scandal, because of his arrest in February on a drunk driving charge, which has not yet gone to trial.

We have a lot of good Democrats in the Waterloo area, and I'd like to see someone else on our ballot line in House district 21 next year.

  • Here is the republican announcement.

    As promised the announcement was today:

    Steve is a tough canidate who I wanted to run against Becky Schmitz.  I now have an even better canidate to run against Becky.




    • I don't suppose you're ready to spill the beans

      about your great candidate against Schmitz...

      • No not right know.

        why give my secerts up so soon.  Becky will need a lot of money to even make it close.


        • what are you afraid of?

          You have a "great candidate" who can't lose! If he/she is a self-funder, that's probably good for you, since the Senate Republicans can't keep up with the Senate Democratic leadership's fundraising.

          If you don't mind my asking, when did you start recruiting Burgmeier to run for the legislature?

          • Funding won't be an issue at all.

            I started talking to Steve well over a year ago about running against Becky.  Then after the elections I started getting more involved in the party locally.  So I have been out looking for the best people for each seat.  Washington county only needs to replace Becky, Larry , and Barb to have all the elected offices held by a republican.  Finding a county attorney canidate that will take a pay cut is real tough.  I am working on one right now. That is the only seat I have left to find a canidate for.

            We have moved on to fund raising and GOTV.

  • To be fair...

    It should be "Bleeding Heartland user im4klein" not "a Republican who posts here occasionally". Fair is fair.

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