# HD-36



Ten Iowa Democratic legislative primaries to watch in 2022

UPDATE: I’ve added unofficial results for each race.

Iowa Democrats have more competitive state legislative primaries in 2022 than in a typical election cycle. That’s partly because quite a few House and Senate members are retiring, and partly because the redistricting plan adopted in 2021 created some legislative districts with no incumbents.

In most of the races discussed below, the winner of the primary is very likely to prevail in November. However, a few of the districts could be targeted by one or both parties in the general election.

All data on past election performance in these districts comes from the Iowa House and Senate maps Josh Hughes created in Dave’s Redistricting App. Fundraising numbers are taken from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s database.

This post is not an exhaustive account of all contested Democratic primaries for state legislative offices. You can find the full primary candidate list here.

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Why I support Gabe De La Cerda for Iowa House district 36

Rob Barron served on the Des Moines school board from 2013 to 2021 and is the founder of the Latino Political Network.

My name is Rob Barron and I am proud to endorse Gabe De La Cerda to be the next state representative in Iowa House district 36. I grew up on 49th Street, right in the heart of the district, in the house my dad still owns. When I ran my first campaign for school board, voters in the district put me over the top. Now I hope you will give your vote to my friend Gabe.

I have known Gabe for more than ten years and have always trusted him to fight hard for kids, the elderly, and working-class folks. He serves on the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee, has been a union member, and is currently a social worker and father. He is also one of a growing line of Latinos who have raised their hands to run for office.

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Shannon Henson has the skills and character to lead

Dr. Andy McGuire is a resident of Iowa House District 36, longtime health care advocate, former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party, and member of the Board of Trustees at Broadlawns.

We’re faced with an embarrassment of riches this year in House District 36 with six candidates seeking the Democratic nomination. As a former Iowa Democratic Party chair, I know it can be tough to choose in a primary when all the candidates support a progressive agenda, care about values I hold dear, and are my friends.

But when I think about where we are right now, and all that is at stake – from a full-scale reversal of reproductive freedom, to the ongoing effort to undermine our public schools – I keep returning to one question: which candidate is most equipped and prepared to fight back and get results for Iowans?

I believe Shannon Henson is the right leader for state House district 36.

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Our public schools need a fighter like Shannon Henson

Randy Richardson: Shannon Henson’s background and experience make her most ready to lead among the six Democrats running in Iowa House district 36.

For more than a decade, Republican lawmakers in Iowa have consistently underfunded our public schools and chipped away at the rights of our educators. Teachers and support staff have lost most of their collective bargaining rights, and teachers are now under attack for their so-called “sinister agenda.”

Public schools are the great equalizer. Ideally, they allow children—regardless of their family’s socioeconomic status, the foundation they need for their future. In Iowa, 485,000 children attend our public schools.

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Austin Baeth for Iowa House district 36

Gary Dickey: Austin Baeth is uniquely positioned to diagnose our state’s problems and build consensus to provide solutions. 

It is a cliché in politics to exclaim that “this election is the most important in our lifetime.” The reality is that every election is the most important until the next. 

But it is hard to remember a time in which the most basic notions of what it means to be an Iowan have hung so precariously in the balance. 

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Another Democrat retiring in deep blue Iowa House district

State Representative Jo Oldson will not seek re-election in 2022, she informed constituents in an email newsletter on December 9. “With re-apportionment now settled,” she wrote, “I believe it’s the right time for me to step aside and provide an opportunity for new leaders to step forward. While this decision wasn’t easy for me, it’s time to retire and enjoy more time with my husband Brice and our family.”

First elected to the Iowa House in 2002, Oldson served as minority whip in 2019 and 2020 and was the ranking member of the Commerce Committee during this year’s legislative session.

Her decision opens up a third strongly Democratic Iowa House district in Des Moines.

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