Iowa's status as one of only three states to allow losers of major-party primaries to seek the same office as independents is good news for Republicans hoping to hold Iowa Senate district 7. First-term Senator Rick Bertrand is seeking re-election in the Sioux City-based seat, where President Barack Obama performed better than in any other Iowa Senate district now held by a Republican. Although midterm electorates sometimes favor GOP candidates, and Iowans tend to re-elect their statehouse incumbents, the voter registration totals here lean toward Democrats. Both parties are targeting Senate district 7, and a victory for challenger Jim France would virtually assure continued Democratic control of the Iowa Senate.
Enter Maria Rundquist, who lost the Democratic primary to France in June, but filed this week to run in Senate district 7 as an independent. Her campaign website provides a short bio and background on her civic involvement in the Sioux City area. I sought comment from Rundquist about why she is running as an independent, and how she would answer critics who say she can only help re-elect Bertrand. She responded, "I am running because, I can provide the leadership, integrity and ethics so needed in our government. I believe the people in the Iowa Senate District 7, deserve an honest and smart choice."
Following up, I asked Rundquist whether she was aware that a third-party candidate has not won an Iowa legislative election in several decades, if ever, and whether she would have any regrets if Bertrand were re-elected with fewer votes than she and France received combined. She answered,
Yes, I am aware about third-party never won an Iowa legislation seat. So let make history and pass the word to elect Maria Rundquist to change the system. I don't have regrets to Rick Bertrand or any candidate. We leave in a Nation of Democracy and the voters have the right to chose the right person to represent them. So stop questioning me and get to work and campaign for Maria Rundquist.
Sorry, that's not going to happen. I've voted for lots of Democrats who didn't win their primary. None of them became what is known in political science as a "sore loser." One can argue that voters should be able to select any candidate they choose, but upholding state sore loser laws during the 1970s, the U.S. Supreme Court held that there is no constitutional right to continue an intra-party struggle during the general election. I'm with John Deeth: candidates who seek a party's nomination should abide by the primary voters' verdict. Rundquist must know that she won't "change the system" through this campaign. I hope she doesn't become a spoiler, but there's no question that her candidacy will hinder France's effort to unseat a Republican incumbent.
More Joe Liebermans!
Just what we need. Narcissistic losers convinced against all evidence that past is never prologue, and this time will be different.
I will never vote for someone who does this. They prove that it's all about them, and to hell with their party, when they file to run again in the same election. I hope other Democrats find this as offensive as I do. Unfortunately, she will probably pick off some independents and help to elect Bertrand.
I have heard that the loser in the Floyd County Attorney Democratic primary, Ann Troge, is doing this too, against William Baresal.
When a candidate does this, they ensure that I will never vote for them, for any office, ever again.
This is bad news, in this case. I personally don't care for political parties that much, but the answer to solve some of this may be to make ballot access laws a little easier for folks that want to start out as an independent.
I think sore loser laws are here to stay in most states even though I think they just stop a lot of appealing general election candidates. I have no doubt in my mind however that Bob Bennett in Utah would have won as an independent against Mike Lee and Sam Granato, and thus the United States Senate would be a better place without Mike Lee.
Ned Lamont would have won his race if he had been able to answer more Connecticut based questions. You can't win a general election typically based on foreign policy alone. Connecticut is a poor state to attempt to run a populist, labor friendly campaign anyway given their dependence on ports and free trade, IMO.
If the netroots had spent less time bashing Harold Ford Jr. and more time helping Lamont build a stronger case, he would have won.
Her website seems to be a bit....dated.
Except....you're not running for that?