Crowded Republican primary coming in Iowa House district 91

Kevin Hall reported for The Iowa Republican blog yesterday that a fourth candidate is planning to seek the GOP nomination in the open Iowa House district 91. Republican State Representative Mark Lofgren is vacating the seat to run for Congress against four-term Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack. It’s a swing district where President Barack Obama outpolled Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, even as Lofgren was re-elected.

Hall provided some background on Gary Carlson:

Carlson is an executive with HNI, the parent company of HON Furniture in Muscatine. HNI is a global company, with 10,000 employees. Prior to being a vice-president at HNI, Carlson was the president and CEO of the Muscatine Chamber of Commerce. He also served as the vice-president at the Bandag Corporation, where he managed Bandag operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa from 1974-1997.

I wonder whether all three other declared GOP candidates in House district 91 (Emily Lofgren, Mark LeRette, and Mark Cisneros) will follow through before the filing deadline next March. So far only one Democratic candidate has announced in the district, John Dabeet.

Speaking of Mark Lofgren, I find it pathetic that ten days into the federal government shutdown, he’s said nothing about the situation on his Congressional campaign website, twitter feed, or Facebook page. Most of the Iowans running for Congress have given some idea of whether they favor a “clean” continuing spending resolution to fund the federal government, or whether they would insist on conditions such as defunding/delaying the 2010 health care reform law. Lofgren is doing lit drops and attending Republican fundraisers, but he has nothing to say to a wider audience about the most important job of Congress: passing a budget. If Mariannette Miller-Meeks takes another shot at IA-02 (and I think she will), I hope she destroys Lofgren in the primary. She crushed three GOP rivals in 2010 before losing the general election to Loebsack.

UPDATE: Bleeding Heartland user Columcille points out in the comments that Emily Lofgren dropped out of the House district 91 race on October 11. She says she will focus on getting her father elected to Congress. Lofgren ran her father’s 2010 Iowa House campaign against a Democratic incumbent.

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  • Lofgren

    Lofgren may be the only one that has anything to lose by running.  The other three will continue to be players within the local party and community regardless of how it shakes out.  Cisneros is getting a lot of buzz on the different social networks, of course that doesn’t mean much unless people  show up to vote.

    Lofgren needs to follow through with her campaign because otherwise it will have caused an unnecessary problem for her father’s campaign.  If MMM runs I hope she and Lofgren don’t try to trip over each other to top each other in conservatism.  Our counties need to grow in the 2nd District and you can save the ideological turf war for another day.  MMM and Lofgren both strike me as extremely rational people however.  

    You can’t really make in roads however when Johnson County continues to grow without becoming a more liberal Republican.  If I were the GOP I would advocate for O’Brien to get in the race (the guy that owns the McDonald’s franchises) if they need an alternative to Lofgren.

     I would really save MMM for a statewide race.  Obviously, she’s tried hitching the wagon to the Tea Party so we assume that it would have to be a federal race, but not necessarily.  She could run for Governor and be a viable candidate.  

    • with four candidates

      There’s a reasonable chance the HD-91 nomination could be decided at a district convention.

      I am not familiar with O’Brien.  

  • Opportunity

    This could be a Dem pickup based on the numbers, but they need a better candidate. Their current guy lost handily to Lofgren last time. New leader Mark Smith better get crackalakin on finding candidates and raising money. For various reasons, House Dems liked their chances of taking back the House before former leader McCarthy moved on. Not sure under the new regime. By now, we might have heard a rumble about HD 43, a winnable district and maybe HD 25 if Garrett wins the Senate special. Uphill fight there but you can’t win if you don’t play. And those are just the ones in my neck of the woods.  I think HD 15 in Council Bluffs will be open and if memory serves the GOP incumbent barely got 50% of the vote in 2012. Point is there appears to some opportunity out there if Dems can grab on to them.

    • Steve Olson's seat will be open as well

      and I have heard rumors of other possible Republican retirements. Agree with you, there are many opportunities if Democrats can recruit strong candidates.  

  • Emily Lofgren

    has dropped out, according to The Iowa Republican.…