Twenty Iowa House races to watch, with ratings

In some states, gerrymandering predetermines the outcome of most legislative races. But many Iowa House and Senate districts are in play every election year, thanks to our non-partisan redistricting system.

Drawing on voter registration totals, recent voting history, absentee ballot numbers, and where Democratic or Republican leaders have made large expenditures, I’ve identified the state House seats most likely to indicate whether Democrats can win control of the lower chamber, where Republicans now enjoy a 59-41 majority.

The districts are grouped in four categories: Democratic-held open seat, Republican-held open seats, Democratic incumbents facing strong challengers, and GOP incumbents facing strong challengers.

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Vote for Jodi Clemens in Iowa House district 73

Kyla Paterson is a community activist from Johnson County.

I met Jodi Clemens when I was door knocking in the primaries. From the first time of meeting her, I knew she was a special candidate. Since then, we’ve become very close through local organizing and this is why I’m writing this.

Jodi is amazing and I believe she will serve your district well! Jodi is someone who sticks to her values, someone who shows kindness to every constituent no matter their party affiliation and someone who has a deep interest in listening. We need folks to take notice, because she runs a positive campaign about the issues that affect everyday people’s lives.

She will work towards restoring collective bargaining rights, to create an affordable health care option, and will support making sure our public education is funded properly. She believes we need to get money out of politics and that we should make sure people’s lives are respected and every person is treated with dignity. She also speaks to those in her district the way a true representative should speak to constituents.

I support Jodi Clemens because she will keep her progressive message and doesn’t let anyone scare her away from being strong on issues. She inspires me, as a young woman who wants to eventually run for office herself, and I think she is exactly the kind of candidate we need to be a role model to future elected officials who will run in the future.

Another reason I support Jodi is because she sincerely cares for her friends and community. She stands up for the most vulnerable and lifts their voices up. That is why I encourage everyone in Iowa House district 73 to go vote for Jodi Clemens, because she is a voice for real progress and is a person who you can count on!

Top image: Jodi Clemens (left) with Kyla Paterson.

Editor’s note: Jodi Clemens is running against three-term Republican State Representative Bobby Kaufmann in a district covering Cedar County and parts of Johnson County.

Here’s Jodi Clemens canvassing with Johnson County Supervisor Kurt Friese just a few days before Friese passed away last month.

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Part 5: How to corrupt Dallas County

Latest deep dive by Tyler Higgs. -promoted by desmoinesdem

If you’ve followed part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4 of this series, you get the drift. I create a short guide about how to corrupt some aspect of local government to hopefully hook you into reading on as I nerd out on a bit of campaign finance disclosures or local political controversies.

But this time, I’ll provide a little bit of good news and relief: many Dallas County political campaigns have clean finances.

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Part 4: How to corrupt Iowa agriculture

Latest deep dive by Tyler Higgs on money in Iowa politics. -promoted by desmoinesdem

There’s nothing more Iowan than farming, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a corrupt politician. Those idyllic Grant Wood images of Iowa farms and hard-working Iowa farmers are being replaced by logos of the Big Ag monopolies that exploit the Iowa family farmer for financial gain. That is how you corrupt Iowa agriculture.

In this article, I will show the finances of both candidates for Iowa secretary of agriculture, Republican Mike Naig and Democrat Tim Gannon. You can decide who is fighting for the family farmer and who is in the pocket of big agribusiness companies.

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IA-04: Five reasons Steve King could be in trouble

The Cook Political Report changed its rating on Iowa’s fourth Congressional district today from “likely” to “lean” Republican. Although eight-term U.S. Representative Steve King carried this R+11 district by more than 20 points in 2016, several factors make a winning path for Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten seem more plausible than a few months ago, when forecasters moved IA-04 from “safe” to “likely” Republican.

Change Research announced last night that its new survey showed King leading Scholten by just 45 percent to 44 percent. The incumbent quickly released results from an internal poll by WPA Intelligence, showing King ahead by 52 percent to 34 percent, with 11 percent undecided and 3 percent inclined to support a third-party candidate.

FiveThirtyEight.com still gives King a 5 in 6 chance of winning a ninth term, but he could have set himself up much better for next Tuesday. Consider:

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Iowa media shrug as Farm Bureau deploys corporate cash for Mike Naig

Iowa law prohibits corporate campaign contributions, so it seems like big news for a business lobby group to seek a “one-time investment of corporate funds” on behalf of a statewide candidate whose election “could return dividends for a decade or more to come.”

Yet media gatekeepers have mostly decided the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation’s plan to elect Republican Mike Naig as secretary of agriculture isn’t newsworthy.

While most print and broadcast outlets ignore the story, pro-Naig advertising that strongly resembles the Republican’s campaign messaging has reached hundreds of thousands of voters.

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