# Brian Cook

Third-party and independent candidates in Iowa's 2014 elections

The filing period for general election candidates in Iowa closed last Friday, so it’s a good time to review where candidates not representing either the Democratic or Republican Party are running for office. The full candidate list is on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website (pdf(. After the jump I discuss all the federal, statewide, and state legislative races including at least one independent or minor-party candidate. Where possible, I’ve linked to campaign websites, so you can learn more about the candidates and their priorities.

Rarely has any Iowa election been affected by an independent or third-party candidate on the ballot. Arguably, the most recent case may have been the 2010 election in Iowa’s first Congressional district. Final results showed that Democratic incumbent Bruce Braley defeated Republican challenger Ben Lange by 4,209 votes, while conservative candidates Rob Petsche and Jason Faulkner drew 4,087 votes and 2,092 votes, respectively.

Any comments about Iowa’s 2014 elections are welcome in this thread.

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Weekend open thread: Candidate filing deadline edition

I’m posting the weekend thread early, because the filing period for primary election candidates in Iowa closed this afternoon. The Secretary of State’s Office posted the full list of candidates here (pdf). John Deeth has been covering the filing on a daily basis all month at his blog. Some highlights from races I’m watching are after the jump.

This is an open thread; all topics welcome.

UPDATE: Gotta agree with Senator Chuck Grassley: the History Channel is useless.

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Competitive GOP primary coming in Iowa Senate district 48

Two men from Delaware County, Dan Zumbach and Brian Cook, have declared their intention to seek the Republican nomination in the new Iowa Senate district 48. Their plans indicate that a competitive GOP primary will determine Democrat Nate Willems’ opponent whether or not Cindy Golding of Linn County follows through on her plans to run in Senate district 48 next year as well. Golding is the GOP nominee for the November 8 special election in Iowa Senate district 18.

A district map and background on Zumbach and Cook are after the jump.

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Competitive GOP primary coming in the first district

Two-term incumbent Bruce Braley has drawn another Republican opponent in Iowa’s first Congressional district, Ed Tibbetts reported for the Quad-City Times last week. Brian Cook of Manchester used to work as a newspaper editor before becoming an insurance salesman. Speaking to Tibbetts, he advocated fairly generic Republican stands on the issues (against the stimulus and climate change bills, for tort reform and selling health insurance across state lines). He also said that “he would limit his time in office, probably to two terms.” I have not yet found a campaign website for Cook.

Cook will face at least one other Republican in the IA-01 primary. Ben Lange, an attorney in Independence, announced his candidacy last month. His campaign website is here. I assume that Cook will try to depict Lange as a Washington insider, since Lange used to be a staffer for a member of Congress from Minnesota.

I learned from the CQ Politics blog that a third Republican has filed Federal Election Commission paperwork to run in this district. James Budde, who lives near Bellevue, describes himself as “very active” in the Tea Party movement. You can read many of his political writings at his campaign website.

Tibbetts reported that Dubuque businessman Rod Blum is now “leaning against” running for Congress. He had announced plans to challenge Braley in October.

Iowa’s first district has a partisan voting index of D+5, meaning that in the last two presidential elections it voted about 5 points more Democratic than the national average. That metric understates Braley’s strength; in 2008 he was re-elected with about 64.5 percent of the vote while Barack Obama carried IA-01 with about 58 percent. Even though election forecasters rank IA-01 as a safe Democratic district, it makes sense for the GOP not to leave Braley unchallenged. He is considered likely to run for statewide office someday when Tom Harkin retires from the U.S. Senate.