Iowa Senate district 17 candidate arrested for OWI

When you’re planning a political comeback, this isn’t how you want to make news:

The Des Moines Register says Tony Bisignano, a Democrat, acknowledged his mistake and took responsibility for his action.

A police report says the 61-year-old was arrested at 12:38 a.m. Monday in Altoona. The report says his blood alcohol level was 0.099 percent.

Bisignano has been arrested for operating while intoxicated twice before, most recently 12 years ago.

Former State Senator Bisignano was the first Democrat to declare in Iowa Senate district 17, which Jack Hatch is vacating to run for governor. He faces a likely three-way primary against Ned Chiodo and Nathan Blake. The strong partisan lean of this district means that the primary winner will almost surely succeed Hatch.

An embarrassing number of Iowa state legislators have been arrested for drunk driving, on both sides of the aisle. Former State Senator Jeff Lamberti was even elevated to head the powerful Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission shortly after his OWI last year. So I wouldn’t consider today’s news to be a game-ender for Bisignano in the Democratic primary. Still, it can’t be helpful for him to have a third arrest of this kind on his record.

On the plus side, today was probably the best day in months for a candidate to dump some unflattering news. This story will be overshadowed by the federal government shutdown and the opening of the state health insurance exhanges.

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