Two Democrats running for Iowa Senate district 30 special (updated)

UPDATE: Added below information on two more candidates who have expressed interest in this race.

Less than 48 hours after State Senator Jeff Danielson resigned from the legislature, two Democrats have announced their candidacies for next month’s special election in Iowa Senate district 30. Scroll down for background on University of Northern Iowa associated professor Amy Petersen and former United Auto Workers local president Tom Ralston. Several more contenders are considering the race; a special district convention will choose a nominee on February 23.

The healthy competition shows Black Hawk County Democrats are uncowed by the prospect of facing likely Republican candidate Walt Rogers, who represented half of this area for eight years in the Iowa House.

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When being fair isn't an Iowa value

Bruce Lear: Lately, I am struck with how Iowa values are eroding before our eyes. -promoted by Laura Belin

Three college guys decided to head to my hometown of Shellsburg, Iowa for a weekend. We threw three bags of dirty laundry in the trunk for my unsuspecting Mom, and we left Pella in Carl’s very used Toyota. In 1977, Toyotas in Iowa were about as rare as a Democrat in Pella. There were some, but they were hard to spot.

Things went fine, until it died. It was not a prolonged death with symptoms. It was sudden. We were three guys with a dead car on a county road outside of Kellogg, Iowa. We knew a lot. After all, we were sophomores in college. Unfortunately, our sophomore smarts didn’t extend to fixing dead Toyotas.

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IA-01: How would Ashley Hinson match up against Abby Finkenauer?

“I am considering my options and hope to make a decision in the next few weeks,” State Representative Ashley Hinson told WHO-TV’s Dave Price on January 18 regarding a possible campaign for Congress in 2020.

Since former state lawmaker Abby Finkenauer defeated U.S. Representative Rod Blum in November, insiders in both parties have speculated that Hinson could be the GOP’s best chance for winning back the first Congressional district. Both parties will certainly target this race, rated a toss-up by Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report.

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Do Waukee schools have revolving doors?

Clive resident Tyler Higgs was a candidate for the Waukee school board in 2017. -promoted by Laura Belin

Former Waukee school board president Susan Bunz applied for a district job in the same month she voted to create the position, according to a spokesperson for the district.

Bunz served as board president at the time of the vote and job application. The job she applied for had duties similar to a Human Resources Director position that Bunz had voted to eliminate one year prior. The former human resources director received a $985,000 settlement after suing the district for alleged wrongful termination. Here is a timeline of relevant events:

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The 18 most-viewed Bleeding Heartland posts of 2018

Sometimes I feel nostalgic for my “past life” covering Russian politics. Social media didn’t exist, and my colleagues and I had no information about which articles most interested our readers. Potential for clicks or shares didn’t factor into our story selection. We wrote up what seemed important to us.

On any given day, a half-dozen or more newsworthy Iowa politics stories present themselves, but I only have the capacity to cover one or two. I look for ways to add value: can I highlight events not covered elsewhere? Can I offer a different perspective or more context on the story everyone’s talking about?

Although chasing traffic will never be my primary goal, doing this for more than a decade has given me a decent sense of which topics will strike a chord with readers. But you never really know. Just like last year and the year before that, surprises lurked in the traffic numbers on Bleeding Heartland posts published during 2018 (353 written by me, 202 by other authors).

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