Yesterday Republicans in Iowa Senate district 48 formally nominated Montgomery County Auditor Joni Ernst for the January 4 special election in Iowa Senate district 48. Ernst declared her candidacy the same day Kim Reynolds resigned from the seat in order to serve as lieutenant governor. The district covers seven counties in south and southwestern Iowa.
Democrats will nominate a candidate for the special election on November 30. Ruth Smith, Reynolds’ Democratic opponent in 2008, is running for the seat again. For reasons I discussed here, Republicans are strongly favored to hold this district.
Recounts are ongoing in Senate district 13 (where Democrat Tod Bowman leads by 71 votes) and Senate district 47 (where Republican Mark Chelgren leads by 12). In the district 47 recount, only Wapello County ballots are being recounted. The official state canvass is this Saturday. If current leads hold, Democrats will have a 26-23 Senate majority going into the special election.