IA-03: Democratic establishment consolidating around Jim Mowrer

The candidate filing deadline may be nearly six months away, but it seems increasingly likely that the fight for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s third Congressional district will be a two-way contest between Desmund Adams and Jim Mowrer. Today Representative Dave Loebsack (IA-02), the only Democrat left in Iowa’s Congressional delegation, made his “full support” for Mowrer official. I enclose the statement from Mowrer’s campaign after the jump. It includes a list of well-known endorsers, such as former Lieutenant Governor Sally Pederson, State Senators Dick Dearden and Bob Dvorsky, State Representatives Charlie McConkey, Todd Prichard, and Abby Finkenauer, former Iowa Democratic Party chair Sue Dvorsky, three IDP State Central Committee members, and Democratic Party chairs in five IA-03 counties.  

Endorsements at this stage are not aimed at persuading Democratic primary voters. Rather, they serve mainly to deter other candidates from getting into the race. They also signal to donors inside and outside Iowa that Mowrer is the “serious” candidate. He already was likely to raise substantially more money than Adams, by virtue of his strong fundraising effort as the 2014 Democratic candidate against Representative Steve King in IA-04.

On a related note, last month the Cook Political Report changed its rating on IA-03 from “toss up” to lean Republican. One reason: “Each day Mowrer consolidates support, the less likely it is that Democrats’ very top choice, U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt, gets in. Former Gov. Chet Culver was rumored to be interested but now looks unlikely to run.” I’m intrigued that a handful of unnamed sources (including one “operative”) managed to convince beltway experts that Klinefeldt would be the “gold standard” candidate in IA-03. Not meaning to knock Klinefeldt, but I’ve had scores of conversations with local Democrats about this race. It’s hardly a consensus view that the U.S. attorney would be the strongest possible candidate to face first-term Republican David Young.

Speaking of Young, earlier this month James Hohmann and Elise Viebeck reported for the Washington Post that he had signed a contract with the National Republican Congressional Committee as a condition for getting help from the NRCC’s incumbent protection program. You can view the fundraising, communication, and political requirements laid out in that contract here.

The sixteen counties in IA-03 contain 150,572 active registered Democrats, 163,096 Republicans, and 163,748 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. More than half of the district’s voters and roughly two-thirds of the Democrats live in Polk County, containing Des Moines and most of its suburbs.

September 28 press release from Jim Mowrer for Congress:

Rep. Loebsack Strongly Endorses Jim Mowrer for Congress

Loebsack’s announcement comes on the heels of endorsements from elected and community leaders across Iowa

Congressman Dave Loebsack today announcement his endorsement of Jim Mowrer for Congress in Iowa’s 3rd District. Mowrer launched his campaign last month and has received an outpouring of support from elected and community leaders across Iowa. As Iowa’s sole Democratic member of Congress, Dave Loebsack’s vote of confidence is a clear indication of Jim’s momentum and the growing consensus that he is the best candidate to take on career Washington insider David Young.

“I’m proud to give my full support to Jim Mowrer,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack (D-02). “Jim has demonstrated his commitment to public service time and time again. After completing the longest tour of duty in Iraq of any military unit, he decided to return to Iraq as a civilian advisor. His selfless character and deep connection to hardworking Iowans are exactly what we need in Congress.”

“Congressman Loebsack is a tireless public servant and I’m humbled to have his support,” said Jim Mowrer.

Jim Mowrer’s endorsements include:

Congressman Dave Loebsack

Vote Vets

Lt. Governor Sally Pederson of Des Moines

Sen. Dick Dearden of Des Moines

Rep. Bruce Hunter of Des Moines

Rep. Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs

Mary Maloney of Des Moines – Polk County Treasurer

Jill June of Ankeny – Former President, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Steve Shelley of Stuart – Adair County Supervisor

Linda Nelson of Council Bluffs – Democratic Chair, Pottawattamie County

Kathy Miller of Panora – Democratic Chair, Guthrie County

Jason Frerichs of Red Oak – Democratic Chair, Montgomery County

Brian Kingsolver of Shenandoah – Democratic Chair, Fremont County

Jennifer Herrington of Clarinda – Democratic Chair, Page County

Paula Martinez of Carlisle – Democratic Party State Central Committee

Jennifer Lunsford of Windsor Heights – Democratic Party State Central Committee

Kimberly Boggus of Des Moines – Iowa Democratic Party Affirmative Action Chair

Jan Bauer – Iowa Democratic National Committee Member

Sue Dvorsky – Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair

Rep. Berkley Bedell – Former Congressman, Iowa’s 6th Congressional District

Sen. Bob Dvorsky

Rep. Abby Finkenauer

Bill Hanes – Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee

Ron Healey – Iowa Democratic Party Veteran’s Caucus Chair

Rep. Todd Prichard

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  • I like Mowrer, but..

    I was disappointed at the end of his campaign against King. He is a smart, experienced person that has a lot to offer this state and country. I thought he went too negative and attacked too much. I think if he had kept with the skills he has to offer and how those would benefit the constituency he would have fared better.

    • such a tough district

      hard to see any path for a Democrat there, especially in a midterm year. You need to beat King among no-party voters by a substantial margin, which I think accounted for the negative campaigning.