Republican Jack Whitver won today's special election to represent Iowa Senate district 35, covering most of northern Polk County. With two-thirds of the precincts reporting, unofficial results show Whitver with more than 60 percent of the votes against Democrat John Calhoun. UPDATE: With 31 of 32 precincts reporting, Whitver had 4,771 votes (63.5 percent) to 2,739 (36.4 percent) for Calhoun. The result isn't surprising given the GOP advantage in voter registration in this fast-growing district. Republican Larry Noble won a hard-fought race in Senate district 35 in 2006 (a Democratic wave year) and was unopposed for re-election in 2010. He resigned from the Senate after Governor Terry Branstad chose him to lead the Department of Public Safety.
A former Iowa State University football player, Whitver coaches for the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team, attends Drake University law school and owns a sports training business. He has promised to serve only two terms in the Senate.
Whitver's victory means that barring any more special elections, Democrats will hold a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.
Speaking of the upper chamber, I learned today that only one attorney is currently serving the Iowa Senate. That's the lowest number of lawyers the body has ever had, according to Iowa Lawyer magazine, a publication of the state bar association. Click here or look after the jump for the name of that lone attorney senator. Of the 100 representatives now serving in the Iowa House, 15 are attorneys.
Rob Hogg, Democrat representing Senate district 19 in Cedar Rapids, is the only attorney in the Iowa Senate during the 84th General Assembly.