# Jeffrey Thompson

Rob Hogg for Iowa attorney general in 2018 (updated)

Before digging into posts about the Iowa elections that just happened, I want note for the record that State Senator Rob Hogg would be an excellent candidate for Iowa attorney general in 2018. Though incumbent Tom Miller has not disclosed his plans, he has reportedly told many Iowa Democrats privately that he does not plan to seek a tenth (!) term. An open race for attorney general would likely bring out several Democratic candidates, possibly including Solicitor General Jeffrey Thompson and First Assistant Attorney General Kevin McCarthy, a former Iowa House majority leader. Hogg has a strong legal and public policy background, having clerked for two federal judges, practiced law in Cedar Rapids since 2000, and served in the Iowa legislature since 2003. He can speak knowledgeably about a wide range of issues, and he now has experience running a statewide campaign.

Hogg was gracious in conceding the U.S. Senate primary race to former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge this evening. He lost by about 8 percent of the vote against a candidate who started with much higher name recognition and was able to run television commercials during the final two weeks of the race. He was only half a percentage point behind the front-runner in Polk County.

Hogg will be up for re-election in Iowa Senate district 33 in 2018, so unlike this year, he would have to give up his seat in the legislature in order to seek higher office. I hope he will consider it. I enclose below the official bio from his Senate campaign website.

UPDATE: Several readers have suggested Hogg should run for governor in 2018. He would be a strong contender for the position too. I assume a number of Democratic state senators (Janet Petersen, Liz Mathis, Pam Jochum) will be looking at that race as well.

SECOND UPDATE: Multiple sources have contacted me to say Miller shows all signs of running for re-election in 2018. So either he has changed his mind, or sources who heard last year he was planning to retire were misinformed. In that case, many Democrats will be urging Hogg to run for governor in 2018.

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Seven thoughts about the oral arguments in Iowa's major voting rights case

On March 30 the Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Griffin v. Pate, Iowa’s most important voting rights case in many years. The court had scheduled an hour for the hearing, twice as long as for most cases. Several of the attorneys went over the allotted time, as justices interrupted frequently with questions. You can watch the entire proceeding here, and it’s well worth an hour and eighteen minutes of your time. For summaries of the key points raised, read reports by Ryan Foley for the Associated Press or Grant Rodgers for the Des Moines Register. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson, Iowa Public Radio’s Sarah Boden, and Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich provided shorter takes.

I’m on record predicting at least four Iowa Supreme Court justices will determine that not all felonies rise to the level of “infamous crimes.” That outcome would allow Kelli Jo Griffin and thousands of other Iowans to vote after completing their prison sentences or terms of probation or parole.

After what I heard Wednesday and watching the hearing again on YouTube, my gut feeling hasn’t changed, though I wouldn’t be shocked to see the majority go the other way. Almost certainly the decision will not be unanimous. Any comments about the Griffin case or felon disenfranchisement generally are welcome in this thread. I enclose below some of my takeaways from the oral arguments.

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