Third-party and independent candidates in Iowa's 2014 elections

The filing period for general election candidates in Iowa closed last Friday, so it’s a good time to review where candidates not representing either the Democratic or Republican Party are running for office. The full candidate list is on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website (pdf(. After the jump I discuss all the federal, statewide, and state legislative races including at least one independent or minor-party candidate. Where possible, I’ve linked to campaign websites, so you can learn more about the candidates and their priorities.

Rarely has any Iowa election been affected by an independent or third-party candidate on the ballot. Arguably, the most recent case may have been the 2010 election in Iowa’s first Congressional district. Final results showed that Democratic incumbent Bruce Braley defeated Republican challenger Ben Lange by 4,209 votes, while conservative candidates Rob Petsche and Jason Faulkner drew 4,087 votes and 2,092 votes, respectively.

Any comments about Iowa’s 2014 elections are welcome in this thread.

Federal races

Aside from Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst, four Iowans submitted enough signatures to qualify for the U.S. Senate race.

Bob Quast of Blue Grass (Scott County) will appear on the ballot as representing “Bob Quast for Term Limits.” His campaign website is here.

Rick Stewart of Cedar Rapids registered as an independent. His campaign website is here.

Douglas Butzier of Dubuque is the Libertarian Party’s nominee. His campaign website is here.

Ruth Smith of Lamoni (Decatur County) is also running as an independent. Her campaign website is here.She was the Democratic nominee against Kim Reynolds in a 2008 Iowa Senate race, and also the Democratic candidate who lost to Joni Ernst in the 2010 special election to replace Reynolds in that district.

Only one of Iowa’s four Congressional districts has a third-party or independent candidate on the ballot. Two other candidates filed in IA-03, expected to be a highly competitive race between Democrat Staci Appel and Republican David Young. Libertarian Ed Wright’s campaign website is here. Former Republican hopeful Bryan Jack Holder’s campaign website is here. Bleeding Heartland discussed Wright and Holder here. In a close race, a few thousand votes to either candidate could hurt Young.

Statewide races

Three people filed to run for governor, in addition to incumbent Terry Branstad and Democratic State Senator Jack Hatch.

Jonathan Narcisse is making his second bid on the “Iowa Party” ticket, after failing to qualify for the Democratic primary ballot. His campaign website is here.

Lee Hieb is the Libertarian Party’s gubernatorial candidate. Her campaign website is here.

I had never heard of Jim Hennager, but he ran for governor on the Reform Party ticket in 1998. On the last day of this year’s filing period, he filed to run with the “New Independent Party of Iowa, which has a website here (misspelling the office as “governer”). Click here for background on Hennager.

Two candidates are running for Iowa secretary of state, in addition to Democrat Brad Anderson and Republican Paul Pate. Jake Porter is the Libertarian Party’s candidate again. His campaign website is here. Porter drew more than 33,000 votes, about 3 percent of the statewide total for that office.

The other secretary of state candidate is Spencer Highland, representing the New Independent Party Iowa.

The Libertarian Party nominated Keith Laube for state treasurer, where Republican Sam Clovis faces longtime Democratic incumbent Mike Fitzgerald. Laube’s website is here.

Levi Benning is running for Iowa secretary of agriculture on the New Independent Party Iowa ticket. Democrat Sherrie Taha is challenging Republican incumbent Bill Northey.

No minor-party or independent candidates filed in the races for attorney general, where Democratic incumbent Tom Miller faces Adam Gregg, or for state auditor, where Republican incumbent Mary Mosiman face Jonathan Neiderbach.

Iowa Senate races

Only 25 of the Iowa Senate districts are on the ballot this year. Three of them include an independent or minor-party candidate. Bleeding Heartland covered Maria Rundquist’s bid in battleground Iowa Senate district 7, where Republican incumbent Rick Bertrand faces Democrat Jim France. Rundquist’s website is here.

The Libertarian Party is running Clair Tom Thompson in Iowa Senate district 13, a seat Republicans are favored to hold with incumbent Julian Garrett. The Democratic candidate is Pam Deichmann.

In the open Senate district 17, community activist Jim Bollard filed to run as an independent. After a tough primary, Democrat Tony Bisignano is favored to win this seat. The Republican candidate is Jonathan Lochman.

Iowa House races

All 100 Iowa House seats are on the ballot every two years. Nine districts will have a third-party or independent candidate on the ballot this year, but none are likely to influence the outcome of the election.

In House district 2, where Democrats did not nominate a candidate, independent Terry Mannwaren is running against Republican incumbent Megan Hess.

In the open House district 10, where Democrats did not nominate a candidate, Libertarian Lynne Gentry is running against Republican Mike Sexton.

In House district 31, where Republicans did not nominate a candidate, Libertarian Joshua James Herbert is running against Democratic incumbent Rick Olson. Herbert’s campaign is on Facebook here.

In House district 41, where Republicans did not nominate a candidate, Iowa Green Party candidate David Courard-Hauri is running against Democratic incumbent Jo Oldson. Courard-Hauri’s website is here.

In House district 45, where Republicans did not nominate a candidate, Libertarian Party candidate Eric Cooper is running against Democratic incumbent Beth Wessel-Kroeschell. Cooper was the Libertarian nominee for governor in 2010.

In House district 57, where Republican Ryan J. Kilburg is challenging Democratic incumbent Nancy Dunkel, David Snowden Overby is running as a Libertarian.

In House district 80, Jared Godby filed to run as an independent in late July. At the time, there was no Democratic challenger to Republican incumbent Larry Sheets. However, late in the filing period, Democrats nominated Deb Ballalatak to run in this district too. Godby’s campaign is on Facebook here.

In House district 84, where Democrats did not nominate a candidate, independent Lee Harder is running against Republican incumbent Dave Heaton. Harder’s campaign is on the web here. Someday, Heaton will retire, and Democrats will be sorry they didn’t have a candidate laying the groundwork here this year.

In House district 96, where Democrats did not nominate a candidate, Libertarian Brian Cook is running against Republican incumbent Lee Hein. As a Republican, Cook ran a short-lived Congressional campaign in IA-01 in 2010, and sought the GOP nomination in Iowa Senate district 48 in 2012.

Note: Republican primary loser Eric Durbin strongly considered running in House district 26, expected to be a competitive race between Democratic State Representative Scott Ourth and Republican primary winner James Butler. That’s one district where a third-party candidate could potentially have affected the result. However, Durbin did not file for the general election ballot.

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  • Narcisse

    Say what we want about Narcisse, but it is a bit of a shame he didn’t get to challenge Hatch in the primary.  Hatch could have used Narcisse’s potential barbs as a way to raise his own name identification.  Would Hatch have dodged Narcisse in debates?  We’ll never know.  I do know that the average person on the street still has no idea who Jack Hatch is.  

    Lee Harder is too conservative to gain ground against Heaton.  I don’t meet the residency requirement, nor do I have a good pulse on the truly local issues to run in this district, myself.