# HD-68 2012

Huge day for marriage equality in Iowa

Supporters of LGBT equality are celebrating yesterday’s votes for same-sex marriage rights in Maine, Maryland, and Washington, as well as Minnesotans rejecting a constitutional amendment designed to restrict marriage rights to heterosexuals.

The election also slammed the door on any prospect of overturning marriage equality in Iowa.

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Daniel Lundby will run for Iowa House district 68

The son of one of Linn County’s most influential Republicans during the past three decades will run for the Iowa House as a Democrat in 2012. Daniel Lundby on July 5 launched his campaign in the new Iowa House district 68. This swing district covers most of Marion (a suburb of Cedar Rapids) and some rural areas of Linn County, including the small towns of Ely and Bertram. As of April 2011, the new House district 68 contained 6,834 registered Democrats, 6,290 Republicans and 7,871 no-party voters.

Lundby’s Republican opponent will be Iowa House Local Government Committee Chairman Nick Wagner. He has represented current district 36, covering suburban and rural parts of Linn County, since winning an open-seat race in 2008.

Lundby’s first campaign press release refers repeatedly to his late mother, Mary Lundby. She was co-chair of the Linn County Republican Party before being elected to the Iowa House in 1986. After four terms as a state representative, she won several terms in the Iowa Senate, where she was among the more moderate Republicans. During the final weeks of the 2006 legislative session, she surprised most Iowa politics-watchers by ousting Stew Iverson as Senate Republican leader. She stepped down from the Senate in order to run for Linn County supervisor, but she dropped out of that race for health reasons. She died of cancer in early 2009.

Daniel Lundby’s message to Linn County voters will be that today’s Republican Party no longer shares his mother’s values. From yesterday’s campaign press release:

“My mother believed in a common sense approach to solving problems through partisan politics.  I want to bring that common sense back to the Iowa House.  My mother also strongly cared about children in Iowa and wanted them to get the best education possible.  Unfortunately, the needs of our young people now seem less important with the Republicans insisting on zero percent growth for local schools and education cuts to state universities.  None of which my mother would approve of.  Nor would she support cutting programs that protect our natural resources and our environment.  She would definitely not support attempts to deny equal rights to any Iowan.  Being my mother’s son, I want the chance to continue her work for a better Iowa.”

The comment about “equal rights” alludes to the fact that Mary Lundby was one of four Iowa Senate Republicans to vote against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2004. That amendment failed by a single vote in the upper chamber. Had it passed, the Varnum v Brien lawsuit challenging Iowa’s Defense of Marriage Act probably would never have been filed.

I’ve posted a detailed map of the new House district 68 after the jump, along with the full text of Lundby’s campaign announcement.

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