Jon Neiderbach announced on Facebook today that he has decided not to run in Iowa House district 43: "We desperately need to fight hard to fix Iowa government, but I came to the conclusion that this wasn't the best way for me to help make that happen." He added that he "strongly" endorses fellow Democrat Jennifer Konfrst, "a wonderful candidate with strong connections to HD 43," and will volunteer for her campaign. Neiderbach was the Democratic candidate for state auditor in 2014 and launched his bid for the Iowa House this September.
Incoming Iowa House Majority Leader Hagenow will be favored to win a fifth term here. His campaign will have virtually unlimited financial resources, and for decades, voters in this part of the Des Moines suburbs have elected Republicans to the state legislature. However, Hagenow is far more conservative than most of those predecessors. In addition, as Bleeding Heartland has noted before, Hagenow won re-election by fewer than two dozen votes in the last presidential election cycle, after Republicans spent heavily on negative tv ads that Democrats left unanswered. He won by fewer than 100 votes in 2008.
House district 43 leans slightly to the GOP on paper, with 6,673 active registered Democrats, 7,416 Republicans, and 5,981 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State's office. President Barack Obama outpolled Mitt Romney in these precincts by 50.6 percent to 48.3 percent, smaller than his statewide winning margin. Then again, Joni Ernst beat Bruce Braley by only 2 percent in HD-43, a lot less than her 8-point victory in the 2014 U.S. Senate race.
Any comments about potentially competitive Iowa House races are welcome in this thread. I enclose below a map of House district 43. Click here for background on Konfrst, who is on the web at JenniferKonfrst.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
Final note: few Iowans in either party know more about the inner workings of state government than Neiderbach, who worked in the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau for fourteen years and as a management analyst for the Iowa Department of Human Services for fifteen years after that. He would be a valuable asset to any Democrat's efforts to improve state budgeting and operations.
Iowa House district 43 covers Windsor Heights, Clive, and parts of West Des Moines in Polk County.