Weekend open thread: Iowa primary filing deadline edition

What’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers? This is an open thread: all topics welcome.

The filing period for Democratic and Republican candidates for Iowa offices ended on Friday, March 18. The last-minute retirements by three Iowa House incumbents grabbed my immediate attention, but I have many other posts in progress related to statehouse and Congressional races. Meanwhile, John Deeth already finished his overview of all 125 state legislative contests, and Pat Rynard highlighted ten districts where Iowa Democrats need to field candidates, in case Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket produces a “massive wave that sweeps Republicans out of office at all levels.”

I couldn’t agree more. Remember, the 2010 landslide allowed Republicans to pick up three Iowa House seats where the party hadn’t even fielded challengers in 2008. They also defeated Democratic State Representative John Beard, who was unopposed at this point in the 2010 campaign, by nominating a GOP candidate in his House district at a special convention in June. The six Republicans who picked up Democratic-held Iowa Senate seats in 2010 included Mark Chelgren. No one took “Chickenman” seriously until he beat a Democratic incumbent by ten votes in an Ottumwa-based district neither party believed to be in play.

Almost anything can happen in a wave election, so finding Democratic candidates for the more promising uncontested Iowa House and Senate seats is imperative. Trump could “cause a massive electoral wipe-out,” but you can’t beat something with nothing.

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