Iowans will likely elect record number of women lawmakers in 2018

A record number of women running for office in Iowa this year has translated into a record number of women who will appear on our state’s general election ballot. Iowa State University’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics noted that 85 women (86 percent of female candidates on Iowa’s primary ballot) won their party’s nominations yesterday.

More women than ever will likely win Iowa House seats this November (current number: 28 out of 100). Female representation will almost certainly increase in the state Senate too and could exceed the previous record (ten out of 50 senators in 2013-2014). Follow me after the jump for details.

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Dems contesting far more Iowa House, Senate seats than in 2010 or 2014

Democrats are fielding a nearly full slate of Iowa House and Senate candidates this year, leaving far fewer GOP-held seats unchallenged than in the last two midterm elections.

The improvement is particularly noticeable in the Iowa House, where Republicans have an unusually large number of open seats to defend. Twelve of the 59 GOP state representatives are retiring, and a thirteenth seat (House district 43) is open due to Majority Leader Chris Hagenow’s move to safer Republican territory in Dallas County.

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Iowa primary election results thread

Polls close at 9 pm, and I’ll be updating this post regularly with primary election results. Rumor has it that turnout was relatively low, even on the Republican side where there are hard-fought primaries for U.S. Senate and the third Congressional district. According to the Polk County Auditor’s office, as of this afternoon only 1,506 absentee ballots had been requested and 1,350 absentee ballots received for today’s GOP primary. Keep in mind that roughly half of all Republican voters in IA-03 live in Polk County, and six campaigns were competing for their votes. Not to mention that five U.S. Senate candidates should have been locking in early votes in Iowa’s largest county.

By comparison, 2,883 Democratic primary absentee ballots were requested in Polk County, and 2,296 of those returned by today. The lion’s share were from Iowa Senate district 17 in Des Moines, where three candidates are seeking to replace Jack Hatch (2,475 absentee ballots requested and 1,950 returned). Democratic campaigns have long pushed early voting more than Republicans, but still–that’s a shocking failure to GOTV by the various Republican campaigns.

Share any comments about any Iowa campaigns in this thread, as well as any interesting anecdotes from voting today.

UPDATE: Polls are now closed and updates will continue after the jump.

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IA-03: Young in, Schultz probably in, Whitver and Hagenow out

State Senator Brad Zaun will have company in the Republican primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. Today David Young told the Des Moines Register that he is ending his U.S. Senate campaign to run in IA-03.

In an exclusive interview, Young said when he began pondering a run for elective office he had the 3rd in mind, assuming that Latham would run for the Senate seat opened by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s retirement in 2014.

Shifting to the Senate race made sense once Latham took himself out of that contest. As of September 30, Young had $124,052.27 cash on hand for his Senate campaign, which would go further in a Congressional district than in a statewide primary.

Meanwhile, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced today on Facebook, “I have received a lot of support and encouragement as I have considered becoming a candidate for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. Next week, I will be making an important and exciting announcement about this race and my future plans to fight for Iowa.” I’m no marketing guru, but I think it’s more exciting to say what you’re doing than to promise “an important and exciting annoucement” soon. I suppose the idea is to make the news twice instead of once. Zaun took the same approach.

I agree with John Deeth’s preview of a forthcoming IA-03 Republican debate: “Mr. Schultz, explain your position on the farm bill. ‘Voter ID.’ Should we intervene in Syria? ‘Voter ID.’”

State Senator Jack Whitver confirmed today that he will run for re-election in Iowa Senate district 19 rather than run for Congress in IA-03. Likewise, State Representative Chris Hagenow will pass on the Congressional race to seek re-election to House district 43 and as House majority whip. In a message to supporters, Hagenow wrote, “Serving in Washington D.C. at this time will not allow me to be the husband and father that I have promised to my family.  After prayerful consideration, we believe that I can best serve the people of Iowa by continuing my work in the state legislature.”

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