# John Calhoun

Republican Whitver wins Iowa Senate district 35 special

Republican Jack Whitver won today's special election to represent Iowa Senate district 35, covering most of northern Polk County. With two-thirds of the precincts reporting, unofficial results show Whitver with more than 60 percent of the votes against Democrat John Calhoun. UPDATE: With 31 of 32 precincts reporting, Whitver had 4,771 votes (63.5 percent) to 2,739 (36.4 percent) for Calhoun. The result isn't surprising given the GOP advantage in voter registration in this fast-growing district. Republican Larry Noble won a hard-fought race in Senate district 35 in 2006 (a Democratic wave year) and was unopposed for re-election in 2010. He resigned from the Senate after Governor Terry Branstad chose him to lead the Department of Public Safety.

A former Iowa State University football player, Whitver coaches for the Iowa Barnstormers arena football team, attends Drake University law school and owns a sports training business. He has promised to serve only two terms in the Senate.

Whitver's victory means that barring any more special elections, Democrats will hold a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate during the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions.

Speaking of the upper chamber, I learned today that only one attorney is currently serving the Iowa Senate. That's the lowest number of lawyers the body has ever had, according to Iowa Lawyer magazine, a publication of the state bar association. Click here or look after the jump for the name of that lone attorney senator. Of the 100 representatives now serving in the Iowa House, 15 are attorneys.

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Democrats nominate John Calhoun for Senate district 35 special

Delegates in Iowa Senate District 35, covering most of the northern half of Polk County, chose John Calhoun as their nominee for the January 18 special election. Calhoun lives in Polk City and is director of the Polk City Community Foundation and Polk City Development Corporation. No other candidates sought the Democratic nomination for this Republican-leaning district, so Calhoun was unanimously elected on the first ballot.

Republicans picked Jack Whitver out of a crowded field seeking the Senate district 35 nomination last week. Larry Noble vacated the seat when he agreed to serve as director of the Department of Public Safety in the Branstad administration.

The special election in Iowa Senate district 48 takes place today. Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Ruth Smith are running to replace Kim Reynolds, who resigned from the Senate after being elected lieutenant governor.

UPDATE: A press release containing more background information on Calhoun is after the jump.

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