Brian Meyer only Democrat competing for Iowa House district 33

Following up on yesterday’s news, Des Moines City Council member Brian Meyer will be unchallenged for the Democratic nomination in Iowa House district 33, where a special election is set for October 22. The two Democrats who had announced campaigns, Karl Schilling and Joe Henry, both endorsed Meyer yesterday. Felix Gallagher confirmed by telephone today that he had considered running for the House seat but decided against the race. By the way, I forgot to mention that Gallagher was the treasurer for Desmund Adams’ campaign in Iowa Senate district 22 last year.

Meyer’s press release spoke of entering the race “in the hopes of unifying the party and continuing the good work of former Representative [Kevin] McCarthy.” I don’t see any urgency to unify the party in a district Republicans have no realistic hope of winning. The latest Civic Skinny column in the Des Moines weekly Cityview suggests another reason for Meyer to get into the race:

Word is that Marshalltown’s Mark Smith, who bested Des Moines’ Rick Olson, 24-20, in the caucus vote to succeed Kevin McCarthy as head of the Democrats in the Iowa House, has let go McCarthy’s key aide, Des Moines City Councilman Brian Meyer. The move has surprised – and upset – some Democrats. …

In all likelihood the Iowa House seat will be Meyer’s for as long as he wants it. That would force a special election to replace Meyer as the Des Moines City Council member representing Ward 4. Bleeding Heartland user Columcille raises the interesting possibility of Chris Diebel running for that seat, instead of challenging incumbent Skip Moore for the at-large council seat. UPDATE: A Bleeding Heartland reader alerted me to a big problem with that scenario: Diebel lives in Ward 3, not Ward 4 (city council map here).  

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  • Primaries

    I don’t understand some of the fear of primaries.  I know that the Democratic candidate is going to carry this seat for years to come, but you might as well have a primary contest to keep people listening to their constituents.

    I am more likely to vote for the more moderate or conservative candidate in a Democratic primary, so I’m not advocating for any kind of purging or purity test.

    Tyler Olson or Jack Hatch will be better off because they faced off with each other and Bob Krause.  You can’t really find a specific issue where the three of them are vastly different from each other on.  

    I’d even like to see a primary against Braley just to keep his skills sharp.  If he’s worried about it draining his resources, don’t run to begin with.  I would probably support Braley against a primary opponent, but we need primaries so we don’t get a sense of entitlement as well.  

    • I agree

      I don’t mind the lack of a primary in the IA-Sen race so much, because Braley is a strong campaigner and probably the best-prepared Iowa Democrat for Harkin’s job. But the fetish with avoiding primaries in many other races bothers me a lot. It’s similar to the Iowa Democratic Party’s fear of letting several good people make their case to central committee members for the party chair job. Groupthink generally does not serve a party well.

      • Primary

        I agree that primaries are often a good thing and can really boost name recognition while generating excitement. I also agree that I’m happy there’s no primary against Braley. He can use this extra time to continue getting out and meeting those who don’t know him around the state while continuning to build that war chest.

  • Maybe

    someone from the audience will run? Oh wait, that’s the House 33 Republicans.… Still funny.