# Dan Dirkx

First take on the Iowa House and Senate results (updated)

Democrats suffered big losses in the Iowa House and Senate last night. Assuming no results change through recounts, the House is likely to switch from 56 Democrats and 44 Republicans to 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats. I’ve seen some online references to a 58-42 split, but that’s not how the count looks based on unofficial results posted on the Secretary of State’s website.

Democrats maintain control of the Iowa Senate, but their majority shrank from 32-18 to 27-23. Governor-elect Terry Branstad should easily be able to get his agenda through the Iowa House, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal may have trouble keeping his caucus united.

UPDATE: Late returns could change the outcome in two Senate seats; it’s possible the chamber could have a 25-25 split, or a 26-24 Democratic majority.

SECOND UPDATE: A few more races could switch as more absentee ballots come in. As of Wednesday evening, Democrat Tom Schueller is now trailing in House district 25 by about 150 votes.

Here’s my take on the seats that changed hands and the near-misses.

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Who's the know-nothingest Republican of all?

Iowa Republicans have nominated some candidates who are remarkably ill-suited for the jobs they are seeking. There’s secretary of state nominee Matt Schultz, who doesn’t know how voter rolls are maintained, uses unfounded fraud allegations to get attention, and thinks a focus on job creation means the secretary of state should get involved in legislative battles over tax and labor bills.

There are incumbents like State Representatives Jason Schultz and Dwayne Alons, whose oddball ideas Bleeding Heartland has covered before.

But this story in the Carroll Daily Times-Herald suggests that Dan Dirkx, Republican candidate in Iowa House district 51, sets the gold standard for ignorance.  

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