First-term Democratic State Senator Bill Heckroth of Waverly announced yesterday that he will seek re-election in Iowa Senate district 9, which includes Butler and Bremer counties, along with parts of Black Hawk and Fayette counties. After the jump I’ve posted Heckroth’s press release, containing background on his career and his achievements in the legislature.
Senate district 9 is one of the Iowa GOP’s better pickup opportunities next year. Traditionally, Republicans have had a voter registration edge in this district, although I don’t know the current numbers. Republican Bob Brunkhorst represented Senate district 9 before retiring in 2006. Heckroth won the open-seat contest against Tom Hoogestraa by a reasonably comfortable margin of 1,346 votes, or 52.4 percent to 46.5 percent (pdf file). Then again, 2006 was a Democratic wave election.
Heckroth’s opponent next year will be Bill Dix, who announced his candidacy yesterday. Dix spent ten years in the Iowa House representing district 17, which makes up half of Senate district 9 and includes all of Butler plus part of Bremer county. Click here for state legislative district maps.
Dix rose to the level of Iowa House Appropriations Committee chairman. When Jim Nussle ran for governor in 2006, Dix sought the Republican nomination in the first Congressional district. He came up short against Mike Whalen in the GOP primary, but did well in the counties that are in Senate district 9 (pdf file), especially Butler County. Dix has been working at his family farm since 2006, but he told Charlotte Eby that the state’s budget problems “caused me to say we need to fix the mess, and I’m excited about coming and bringing what I can to put Iowa back on the right track.”
Ed Failor of Iowans for Tax Relief attended Dix’s press conference yesterday, which suggests that this statehouse campaign will be a fundraising priority for Republicans and their interest-group allies.
For those in northeast Iowa who want to get involved with Heckroth’s re-election campaign, he has listed contact phone numbers and e-mail addresses in the press release after the jump. That release also has details on Heckroth’s upcoming campaign kick-off events in Oelwein on November 8, in Waverly on November 9, and in Allison on November 12.