Former Republican Party of Iowa co-chair David Fischer announced on Facebook February 18 that he has decided not to run for the Iowa Senate this year. Just a few weeks ago, Fischer sounded committed to the race, but he told his Facebook friends, “Much to my surprise, a great opportunity has just presented itself that I owe it to my family to explore.” He promised to return all campaign contributions and to keep working to promote principles of “freedom, prosperity, and peace.”
I had considered Fischer’s campaign a “game-changer” in that it pointed to a strong Republican effort to beat entrenched Democratic incumbent Dennis Black in Senate district 15.
Two other Republicans have announced plans to run against Black: Patrick Payton and Crystal Bruntz. But since neither has Fischer’s connections to the “Liberty” movement that dominates the current state GOP’s leadership, I’m not convinced Senate district 15 will rise to the top tier of competitive Iowa Senate races. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal doesn’t seem worried about holding this seat either.
As of February 2014 (pdf), Senate district 15 contained 15,269 registered Democrats, 13,190 Republicans, and 15,014 no-party voters.
The district covers most of Jasper County, including Newton, Baxter, Colfax, Prairie City, and Mingo, as well as eastern Polk County, including Altoona, Bondurant, Mitchellville, and Elkhart.