State Representative Mark Lofgren's daughter Emily Lofgren announced on twitter this morning that she will seek to replace her father in Iowa House district 91 next year. Mark Lofgren is running for Congress against four-term incumbent Dave Loebsack.
A Muscatine native and 2012 graduate of Drake University in Des Moines, Emily Lofgren has been active in Republican politics for years. She managed her father's successful campaign against Democratic State Representative Nathan Reichert in 2010. She has spent the last academic year teaching English in China and and had planned to spend another year there after coming home for the summer. I assume that she won't return to China now that she has decided to run for the state legislature.
Unlike State Representative Bobby Kaufmann, who faced no GOP rivals to represent House district 73 after his father Jeff Kaufmann left the legislature, Lofgren will have competition in next year's primary. Last week, Muscatine City Council member Mark LeRette announced his plans to run in House district 91. LeRette is a past chair of the Muscatine County Republican Party.
Click here to view a district map and the latest voter registration numbers in House district 91, a swing seat. I've posted more background on Emily Lofgren below. To my knowledge, she hasn't launched a campaign website yet. She blogs about "simple, happy living" here and about her experiences in China here.
I'm not personally acquainted with any Muscatine County Republicans, but I would guess that a city council member with experience on various local boards has a better chance in the GOP primary than a recent college graduate/internet life coach.
From the "About" page at EmilyLofgren.com (emphasis in original):
Hello and welcome!
I am SO EXCITED you are here.
I'm Emily Lofgren, a twenty-something Iowa girl who believes in serving humbly, exploring the world, and loving with her whole heart. I blog about finding peace through simple, happy living. A year ago, I realized enough was enough and completely transformed my life. Today, I'm a happier, more productive person who seizes opportunities and savors precious moments.
My mission is to help you become the best person you can be. I'm not kidding. I really do want to help.
After going through a series of ups and downs, I've realized how crucial it is to be in the right mindset. Challenges can break us down, but with the right tools, we can get back up. We can change our own lives and then give back through service to others.
With love, faith, positive relationships, and good habits, we can find peace in this continually stressful world.
Life is not easy. In fact, it's pretty darn tough.
With a series of emotions to go along with the roller coast we like to call "life," it's no surprise we sometimes feel stuck. I'm here to help you get unstuck.
Each day when we wake up, we have a choice. We can choose to live ordinarily or we could choose to live remarkably. Small life changes lead to big results, which can result in a more happy, fulfilled life.
I want to give you the tools to live life to the fullest, seize opportunities and become the person you were born to be. (I'll let you in on a little secret...it's actually quite simple!)
Hometown: Muscatine, Iowa
2012 Public Relations Graduate of Drake University
Saved by Grace.
I've never had a cup of coffee.
I was the nerdy kid in class who could name every state and capital by age 9.
One of my sisters told me if she had my hair she'd shave her head and buy a wig.
I'd pick the mountains over the beach any day - In fact, as a toddler I called them "Emmy's Mountains"
I love the feeling of post-workout soreness. Best feeling in the world.
When my baby brother was born, I got to cut his umbilical cord. I thought it was the coolest thing ever.
As much as I try to conquer my fears, I'm still undeniably afraid of the dark.
Lofgren provides more background in this introductory blog post.
UPDATE: From Mike Ferguson's report for the Muscatine Journal:
Emily Lofgren declined to discuss LeRette's candidacy, saying she won't focus on "being against anyone. I am focusing on the Iowa House." [...]
"I knew I wanted to get into politics eventually," Emily Lofgren said. "I just didn't know I'd have the opportunity so soon. My dad said he'd thought about running (for Congress) for a while, and I decided this is the right time (to announce for the race)."
Lofgren has experience working at the capitol, having served as her father's clerk (a position she'll once again assume in January 2014) as well as clerking for Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, that chamber's assistant minority leader. She served two years as one of 17 members of the Iowa GOP's State Central Committee and managed her father's 2010 campaign.
"I feel like if I get elected, there won't be a lot of on-the-job training," she said. "I know how committees work. I can get there and get right to work."
I am seeking comment from Lofgren on whether she plans to manage or work in any staff position on her father's Congressional campaign.
John Deeth predicts LeRette will be "maneuvered out" of this race, possibly tapped to run against Democratic State Senator Chris Brase in Senate district 46 in 2016. I have trouble seeing why someone with LeRette's experience would step aside for Lofgren.
Bleeding Heartland user Columcille notes that Iowans for Tax Relief is headquartered in Muscatine: "Their vote is usually the only one that matters in a primary like this." Good point.