Prospects for increasing diversity in the Iowa legislature (post-filing edition)

Now that the deadline to compete in the Democratic or Republican primaries has passed, the field of candidates is set in most of the 100 Iowa House districts and 25 Iowa Senate districts that will be on the ballot this fall.

It’s time for a first look at chances to increase diversity in the state legislature for the next two years. The proportion of white lawmakers is unlikely to change, while the proportion of women could move in either direction.

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Iowa House district 67 preview: Ashley Hinson vs. Mark Seidl

Ashley Hinson photo IMG_1164-e1448453427244-276x300_zpsrllkaego.jpg

Television reporter and former KCRG morning show anchor Ashley Hinson emerged today as the likely Republican nominee in the Iowa House district that outgoing Speaker Kraig Paulsen is vacating. Paulsen announced in August that he would not seek another term in House district 67. Instead, he will take up a newly-created senior position at Iowa State University next year.

Hinson is on Twitter here and has a campaign website and Facebook page. At this writing, HinsonforHouse.com says little about political priorities; there’s no issues page or even a full bio of the candidate. The blurb on the front page offers a vague call to “stand up” against “politics as usual” and a promise to “make sure that everyone feels heard and is heard in Des Moines.” Hinson’s working campaign slogan appears to be “Trusted. Proven. Leader.”

Democrat Mark Seidl made his campaign in House district 67 official earlier this month. He unsuccessfully challenged Republican State Representative Renee Schulte in 2010 and ran against Paulsen in 2012. I am not aware of a Seidl campaign presence on Twitter or Facebook, but the candidate’s website is here. The issues page consists of bullet points on improving the business climate in Iowa, creating well-paid jobs, supporting education, balancing the budget, and maintaining “Iowa’s leadership in renewable energy.”

I enclose below a map of House district 67, details about the district’s political make-up and recent voting history, and background on Hinson and Seidl.

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