Four "likely suspects" rule out running in Iowa Senate district 30 special

Democratic State Senator Jeff Danielson announced his resignation today, Iowa Starting Line was first to report. His decision will force a special election in Senate district 30 on an accelerated schedule, because the vacancy arose during the legislative session.

State Representatives Bob Kressig and Dave Williams, the Iowa House Democrats who represent both halves of Danielson’s district, told Bleeding Heartland this evening they do not plan to compete in the special election. Just elected for the first time in November, Williams said in a Facebook message, “I am new in the House, enjoying the experience, and intend to stay focused on House District 60 constituents.”

Danielson’s last two Republican challengers also ruled out the race.

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Iowa Senate district 30 preview: Jeff Danielson vs. Bonnie Sadler

A Republican challenger to three-term State Senator Jeff Danielson in Iowa Senate district 30 emerged last week. Bonnie Sadler is on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Danielson has a campaign website as well as a Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Danielson was the Iowa legislative incumbent re-elected by the narrowest margin in 2008, beating Walt Rogers by just 22 votes out of more than 32,000 cast. Although Danielson won his third term by a somewhat larger margin in 2012, Republicans are still likely to target this race as one of their top two or three pickup opportunities. The Republican State Leadership Committee has committed to play for the Iowa Senate majority in 2016. Democrats currently control the chamber by 26 votes to 24.

I enclose below a map of Senate district 30, a review of its voter registration numbers and recent voting history, background on both candidates, and first thoughts on what should be a central issue during next year’s campaign.

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Iowa Senate district 30: Final ads for Danielson and Reisetter

Given how much money Democratic and Republican leaders are spending on advertising in the Iowa Senate races, it’s unfortunate that so few of the television and radio commercials are available online. Both of the candidates in the battleground Senate district 30 (Cedar Falls/Waterloo) continue to set a good example for transparency, though.

The final tv ads supporting Senator Jeff Danielson and his Republican challenger Matt Reisetter are after the jump, along with other recent news from the campaign. Bleeding Heartland discussed these candidates’ previous ads here and here.

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Democratic and Republican party spending in the Iowa Senate races

Candidates for the Iowa legislature were required to submit campaign finance disclosure reports on October 19 and November 2. The Schedule E forms on “In-Kind Contributions” contained the most interesting numbers, because they showed how Democratic and Republican party leaders are allocating resources across the battleground districts.

After the jump I’ve enclosed in-kind contribution figures for the Senate districts expected to be in play tomorrow. Candidates running in other Senate races did not report large in-kind contributions from their respective parties.

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Vander Plaats group on radio in two races, conspicuously absent in one

Three-time candidate for Iowa governor Bob Vander Plaats has made news this fall primarily on the “No Wiggins” campaign trail. However, the social conservative group he runs is supporting some Republican Iowa Senate candidates as well.

Last week the FAMiLY Leader launched radio advertising campaigns in two competitive Senate races–but notably, not in the district where Vander Plaats’ longtime right-hand man Matt Reisetter is running.  

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Iowa Senate district 30 campaign update

Last time Bleeding Heartland discussed the Iowa Senate district 30 race, two-term Democratic incumbent Jeff Danielson and his Republican challenger Matt Reisetter had just launched their first television commercials in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. Both candidates have followed up with advertising that I’ve enclosed after the jump.

I applaud the openness of both campaigns in Senate district 30. Most of the Iowa House and Senate radio and television commercials from last cycle were never uploaded to YouTube, and I expect the same lack of transparency this year.

As for content, Reisetter’s third tv ad includes one of the most ludicrous interpretations of an Iowa legislative vote since the infamous “heated sidewalks” of 2010.

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