Former State Representative Tom Schueller is running as a Democrat in the new Iowa House district 58, setting up a likely rematch against first-term Republican Brian Moore.
Schueller served three terms in the Iowa House, beginning in 2005. He is best known for his work as chair of the Rebuild Iowa Committee in 2009 and 2010. Legislative leaders created that committee following the 2008 floods.
Schueller's old district (House 25) leaned heavily Democratic, and he did not have a Republican opponent in 2008. No GOP candidate filed against him before the 2010 primary, but during the summer local Republicans convinced Democrat Brian Moore to switch parties in order to challenge the incumbent. Schueller got caught napping and lost by a small margin amid the notoriously low Democratic turnout of 2010.
The new House district 58 covers all of Jackson County, a large area in Jones County and two rural Dubuque County townships.
Voter registration numbers indicate that this should be an easy pickup for House Democrats. As of April 2011, the new district 58 contained 8,461 Democrats, 4,359 Republicans, and 8,119 no-party voters.
I enclose Schueller's campaign announcement below. Yesterday's press release came from the House Democrats, indicating that Schueller is the party leadership's preferred candidate. He should be a strong contender as a former incumbent and a business owner with strong roots in Maquoketa, the largest town in the district.
I would not be surprised to see other Democrats run in House district 58, given the partisan makeup of the area. If Democrats can't win back a seat like this in a presidential year, they may as well give up on ever regaining the House majority.
I assume Moore is running for re-election in House district 58, although I haven't been able to find a campaign website or any official announcement of a re-election bid. In fact, Moore's page on the Iowa House Republicans site contains no bio, press releases or newsletters. He kept a low profile during his first session in the Iowa House, and I can't recall him bucking the party leadership on any major vote.
Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.
Incidentally, Schueller was one of three Iowa House Democrats who lost in 2010 despite having faced no Republican opponent in 2008. One of the other surprise losers, Geri Huser, landed a senior job at the Iowa Finance Authority. The third, Donovan Olson, hasn't announced whether he will run for office again in 2012. He would be a strong candidate in in either the new Senate district 24 or the new House district 47, both covering Boone and surrounding areas.
Excerpt from Iowa House Democrats press release of November 10:
Maquoketa, Iowa - Small business owner and former State Representative Tom Schueller announced today that he will run for State Representative in the new House District 58. The new district includes all of Jackson County, the eastern part of Jones County, and a small portion of Dubuque County including Cascade.
"As a small business owner, I know how important it is to grow Iowa's economy and create good-paying jobs on every level," said Schueller, who owns Schueller & Sons Reconstruction in Maquoketa. "From quality education to affordable health care to new job opportunities, I will be a strong voice for the middle class and struggling families in my district and all of Iowa."
"Listening to the people of Jackson and Jones Counties and acting on their behalf will be my first priority. In these tough economic times, it's essential to put aside the partisanship and divisive issues to build consensus and move our state forward," added Schueller. "I am determined to balance the state budget without raising taxes or leaving the middle class behind. We need state government to work for average Iowans, not special interests."
While serving in the Iowa House he helped lead rebuilding efforts after the 2008 floods as Founding Chairman of the Rebuild Iowa Committee while also serving on the Economic Growth, Local Government, Ways & Means Committees. Tom worked diligently on job creation and local government issues. While in office he passed passed bills to increase minimum wage, provide preschool for all children and supported budget increases for education. Schueller, who retired from John Deere after 30 years, grew up on a Century Farm dairy operation and graduated from Hempstead High School before attending Clinton Community College. Tom and his sons are partners in Schueller & Sons Reconstruction of Maquoketa. He and his wife, Melodie, have three grown children and 8 grandchildren who also reside in Maquoketa.
Tom is active in Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Maquoketa. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of the Eagle, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants 4-Ever, and the Lions Club. Before serving 3 terms as State Representative of District 25, he served on the Maquoketa City Council for 11 years, where he was instrumental in the creation of over 500 jobs in the Maquoketa area, led the successful effort to establish the Capitol Improvements Plan for the city and strived diligently to improve the quality of life.