# Sonya Heitshusen



Ten Iowa Democratic legislative primaries to watch in 2022

UPDATE: I’ve added unofficial results for each race.

Iowa Democrats have more competitive state legislative primaries in 2022 than in a typical election cycle. That’s partly because quite a few House and Senate members are retiring, and partly because the redistricting plan adopted in 2021 created some legislative districts with no incumbents.

In most of the races discussed below, the winner of the primary is very likely to prevail in November. However, a few of the districts could be targeted by one or both parties in the general election.

All data on past election performance in these districts comes from the Iowa House and Senate maps Josh Hughes created in Dave’s Redistricting App. Fundraising numbers are taken from the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board’s database.

This post is not an exhaustive account of all contested Democratic primaries for state legislative offices. You can find the full primary candidate list here.

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David Young running in Iowa House district 28

Former U.S. Representative David Young announced on February 28 that he will run for the Iowa House in the new district 28, an open seat. The district includes Van Meter, where Young has owned a home for several years. Young has not yet updated his social media feeds to reflect the legislative campaign, but sent a news release to some Iowa media.

A longtime Congressional staffer, including chief of staff to Senator Chuck Grassley, Young launched his own U.S. Senate campaign in 2013. He shifted gears to the U.S. House race in the third district after Representative Tom Latham announced plans to retire was elected in 2014 and 2016. As an incumbent, Young lost to Democrat Cindy Axne by 49.3 percent to 47.1 percent in 2018. As a challenger, he lost to Axne by a slightly smaller margin in 2020.

To my knowledge, Young is the first declared Republican candidate in House district 28. He should be able to clear the GOP field, given his establishment support and fundraising ability. Two Democrats are seeking to represent the House seat: Sonya Heitshusen and Tom Walton.

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