Special election coming in Iowa Senate district 1

UPDATE: Governor Kim Reynolds set the special election for Tuesday, December 14. Original post follows.

Republican State Senator Zach Whiting has resigned from the Iowa Senate to take a job in Texas, nwestiowa.com reported on October 29. In a statement, Whiting said he was proud of his service in the legislature and grateful to constituents, but could not pass up the opportunity to work for the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative advocacy group.

Whiting was a staffer for U.S. Representative Steve King before winning a three-way GOP primary and the 2018 general election in Iowa Senate district 1. The previous incumbent, David Johnson, did not seek re-election that year. He had left the Republican Party to become an independent in the summer of 2016, in protest of the GOP nominating Donald Trump for president.

Governor Kim Reynolds will soon schedule a special election in November or December to fill the remainder of Whiting's term, which runs through 2022. Senate district 1 includes all of Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay, and Palo Alto counties. Whoever wins the GOP nominating convention will almost certainly become the next senator. The district is among the reddest in Iowa, with nearly three times as many registered Republicans as Democrats.

The redistricting plan Iowa lawmakers approved this week places Whiting's soon-to-be-former Spirit Lake residence in the new Senate district 5, which covers all of Dickinson, Emmet, Winnebago, Kossuth, and Palo Alto counties, along with part of Clay County. Osceola County will be in the new Senate district 3, which has no current incumbent. Lyon County will be part of the new Senate district 2, now represented by Republican Jeff Taylor.

Final note: Iowa Starting Line's Ty Rushing observed that the Senate will drop from three Zachs to two with Whiting's departure. Before 2019, no one serving in the Iowa Senate was named Zach. Going forward, the 50 state senators will include three Jeffs and two men each named Craig, Mark, Dan, Jim, Tim, and Zach.

UPDATE: Barbara Clayton announced on November 4 that she will seek the Republican nomination. According to a news release, she is is the co-chair of the Dickinson County GOP as well as the fourth Congressional district GOP executive committee.

During the 2020 campaign, I organized yard sign drives, sold over 500 Trump flags, organized the boat parade on Big Spirit Lake, brought Attorney Sidney Powell to Dickinson County for events twice, lifted the mask mandate at our county courthouse and our county employees, presented a resolution to our county supervisors deeming all businesses in Dickinson County as essential, completed a course on the Constitution, and started a very active Patriots group. I am working on a new resolution for the county to protect our 1, 2, and 10 Amendment rights.

For me, it is about Freedom: the freedom to live your life, raise your families, practice your religion, defend yourself, educate your children, run your business, own your property, and the most fundamental freedom of all, protecting the most vulnerable in the womb.

The district nominating convention will be in Okoboji on November 11.

If Clayton is nominated and elected to serve out the remainder of Whiting's term, she could seek re-election in 2022 in the new Senate district 5, which contains Dickinson County.

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