Garrett Gobble preparing to run in new Iowa House district

Former Iowa House Republican Garrett Gobble recently filed paperwork to run for the legislature in 2024—but not in the Ankeny-based district he represented for two years.

Gobble lost his 2022 re-election bid in House district 42 by 23 votes to Democrat Heather Matson, whom he had narrowly defeated in 2020.

A statement of organization filed with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board last month indicates Gobble will be a 2024 Republican candidate in Iowa House district 22, which covers Norwalk, Cumming, Carlisle, and other areas of Warren County outside Indianola.

State Representative Stan Gustafson currently represents House district 22. He confirmed to Bleeding Heartland in a June 6 telephone interview that he does not plan to seek re-election in 2024, nor does he plan to endorse anyone in the Republican primary.

Both parties targeted last year’s race in House district 42, a swing district where Joe Biden slightly outpolled Donald Trump in 2020 and Fred Hubbell received 50 percent of the vote in the 2018 governor’s race, while Kim Reynolds received 48.1 percent.

In contrast, House district 22 is much more favorable to a GOP candidate. Democrats did not field a candidate against Gustafson in 2022. Active registered Republicans currently outnumber Democrats by about 2,000, compared to a voter registration advantage of only a few hundred in Gobble’s old district. According to the map Josh Hughes created in Dave’s Redistricting App, Trump received 57.5 percent of the vote in the House district 22 precincts, while Biden received 40.2 percent.

It appears that (perhaps anticipating Gustafson’s retirement), Gobble may have relocated to this district even before last year’s election. Campaign finance disclosures show Gobble’s campaign listed an Ankeny address in August 2022 but a Norwalk address in October. Polk County assessor records indicate he and his wife sold their Ankeny home in January of this year.

Gobble is likely to face competition for the 2024 Republican nomination in his new district.

Other possible GOP candidates in House district 22 include Norwalk Mayor Tom Phillips and Samantha Fett, a former Carlisle school board member and Moms for Liberty activist who advocated for several education policies Republican lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds approved this year. Phillips and Fett did not respond to messages seeking comment.

Gobble also did not respond to phone and email messages seeking to clarify when he moved to the Norwalk address now listed on state records, or which issues he plans to emphasize during his next campaign. He wrote an op-ed column for the Des Moines Register last month, arguing that “every Republican presidential candidate should make their commitment to Social Security loud and clear.”

About the Author(s)

Laura Belin

  • another...

    young GOP wanna-be career politician. There are so many of them in the legislature. Some go straight from “college republican vice president” to state representative with. So much for a citizen-legislature. These people view this as their main role and it’s sad how desperate they are to stay in power to feed their own ego and hurt the state of iowa in the process. Such a departure from the old days.

  • When I read his op-ed in the REGISTER...

    …I knew he must be planning to run for some public office. I’ve read enough REG op-eds over the past several decades to be able to tell the difference between a genuine personal opinion and a desire to make political points.