Walt Rogers quits state board, running in Iowa Senate district 30

Former State Representative Walt Rogers made it official this morning:

Republicans currently hold 32 of the 50 Iowa Senate seats. Democrats hold 17 seats in the upper chamber following Jeff Danielson’s resignation last week.

Governor Kim Reynolds had recently named Rogers to the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board, but he resigned that position today, Thomas Nelson reported for the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier. Iowa Code Chapter 20.5 prohibits members of that board from engaging “in any political activity while holding office.”

After losing to Danielson in 2008 by just 22 votes, Rogers defeated a Democratic incumbent in the Iowa House two years later. He was re-elected three times in House district 60 and chaired the House Education Committee before losing in 2018 to Dave Williams. I enclose below maps of Senate district 30 and the area Rogers formerly represented.

Rogers won’t face serious opposition at the February 25 district convention to select a GOP candidate for the March 19 special election. Democratic delegates in Senate district 30 will select their nominee on February 23. Bleeding Heartland posted background here on the four contenders: University of Northern Iowa professor Amy Petersen, former UAW local leader Tom Ralston, and Cedar Falls school board members Eric Giddens and Sasha Wohlpart.

In an obvious attempt to suppress voting by Democratic-leaning constituencies, Reynolds set the election during spring break for UNI and Cedar Falls public schools. Asked about the timing on February 21, the governor replied, “It doesn’t really matter,” because district residents will have the opportunity to vote early. You can be sure that if groups favoring Republicans were more likely to be out of town on March 19, Reynolds would have picked a different Tuesday in March.

P.S.- The American Wind Energy Association announced on February 22 that effective February 25, Danielson will

lead state policy advocacy efforts across Midwestern and Plains states. In his new role as AWEA’s Central Region Director, Danielson will advocate for pro-growth policies to help wind power expand and meet strong consumer demand for clean energy. […]

“I’m proud to announce an exciting new chapter in my career, even as two wonderful chapters of public service come to a close,” said Jeff Danielson. “Above all, I’d like to thank the citizens of Cedar Valley for allowing me to serve them for so many years in the State Senate and the Cedar Falls Fire Department.”

“Though my work for the wind industry will not be public service in the traditional sense, it is very much in line with what I’ve strived for throughout my career,” added Danielson. “I’ll be working for a wonderful organization dedicated to growing a homegrown American energy source that strengthens the economy, improves the health of communities, and makes us safer as a nation.”

About the Author(s)

Laura Belin