UPDATE: Todd has an ActBlue account. You can help put another Democrat in the Iowa House at: https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraiser/33307
Democrats in House District 52 held a contested convention last night to choose a candidate to replace Brian Quirk, who resigned a few weeks after winning reelection. Two candidates came forward: retired teacher Tom Sauser of New Hampton and Todd Prichard, a lawyer from Charles City. Prichard won with 4988 allocated votes to 3790 for Sauser.
Tom Sauser deserves appreciation for being willing to step forward and run. Running for office is no walk in the park in any season, but January in Iowa, two months after a national election, during the Christmas season, has to be the worst possible timing.
He was the first to enter the race, and was recruited by Quirk, a conservative Democrat who was, until recently, a member of ALEC. Sauser taught middle school for 38 years, and retired in 2011. He conceded that he was not conversant with many issues affecting the state, but committed to learn as much as he could, and listen to his constituents. His speech, which he read from prepared remarks, was well-received. He had introduced himself to Floyd County Democrats in a meeting on Wednesday last week, a meeting that Prichard attended. It was clear from that meeting that Sauser had a steep learning curve ahead of him, but anyone in that room would have preferred him to the various far-right Republicans who are rumored to be running.The Chickasaw County delegates clearly regarded him with respect and affection.
Todd Prichard left the Wednesday meeting thinking about running himself. He called Floyd Democrats through the weekend and made the decision on Sunday. He immediately had the support of many of the people who have been knocking doors in Floyd County throughout 2012. He is an activist--always there when there is a candidate event or grunt work to do, and very well-liked.
By Monday evening, the word was out that the convention would not be a pro-forma event, and delegates showed up from all but one precinct in Cerro Gordo and two precincts in Chickasaw. Because of redistricting, Chickasaw and Floyd Counties were combined for the first time in the 2012 election, and activists from each county were wearing name tags and introducing themselves to one another. With a coin flip, Prichard chose to speak second, so Sauser spoke first. Each candidate gave gracious assurances to the other that he would support the victor.
More on the convention, and what Prichard had to say, below the fold.