# Ruth Randleman



Julian Garrett will seek GOP nomination in Iowa Senate district 13

Two-term Iowa House Republican Julian Garrett told WHO-TV's Dave Price yesterday that he plans to seek the GOP nomination for the special election in Iowa Senate district 13. The seat is vacant because of Kent Sorenson's resignation. A date for the nominating convention will be set sometime after Governor Terry Branstad announces the special election date.

I've posted Garrett's official bio after the jump. I knew he was a retired attorney but didn't realize that he is a former assistant Iowa attorney general for consumer protection. The current holder of that position, Nathan Blake, is seeking the Democratic nomination in Iowa Senate district 17.

I expect at least one other candidate to seek the Republican nomination in Senate district 13, where the GOP has a voter registration advantage. Garrett represents Madison County and parts of Warren County in the Iowa House already, but unlike Kent Sorenson, he's never been wildly popular among the GOP's tea party or "liberty" factions. Party central committee delegates from the precincts in the district will choose a nominee, and the Warren County Republican activists have not favored mainstream candidates lately. Warren County was one of the strongest performers for Bob Vander Plaats in the 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary, and way out there Steve McCoy easily defeated Carlisle Mayor Ruth Randleman in the 2012 primary to represent House district 26. McCoy later lost the general election to Democrat Scott Ourth.

I wouldn't be surprised to see McCoy take a shot at Senate district 13. Another possible candidate is Warren County GOP Chair Ricky Halvorson. He was active in Sorenson's previous successful campaigns and made the Des Moines Register's "50 Most Wanted" list of Republican activists in 2011.

UPDATE: Added more comments from Garrett below. I agree with him that this seat is a must-hold for Republicans if they want to win a Senate majority in 2014.

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Iowa House district 26: Scott Ourth vs Steve McCoy

Repeat Democratic candidate Scott Ourth appears well-positioned to win Iowa House district 26, a seat left open by freshman State Representative Glen Massie's retirement. Ourth takes a fundraising lead into the home stretch and has gained the support of one of Warren County's best-known GOP activists. Meanwhile, the Iowa House Republican advertising machine seems to have left Steve McCoy behind.

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First look at Democratic prospects for Iowa House gains

The redistricting process and several Republican retirements have created many pickup opportunities for Iowa House Democrats. The devastating 2010 election left them nowhere to go but up in the lower chamber, where Republicans currently enjoy a 60 to 40 majority. Relatively few sitting House Democrats represent vulnerable districts.

Speaking to activists at the Polk County Democratic convention on March 10, I heard lots of optimism about the House races. After the jump I've posted some early thoughts on the seats up for grabs.

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