Labor union endorsements in contested 2014 Iowa Democratic primaries

With less than two weeks remaining before June 3, interest groups with a preference in competitive primaries have presumably made their views known by now. On the Democratic side, labor unions are most likely to get involved in primaries, so I wanted to compile in one place the full list of candidates in competitive Democratic races who have been endorsed by one or more organized labor group. None of the Democrats seeking statewide office in Iowa this year has a primary opponent, and I’ve omitted county-level races. The list below includes candidates running for Congress in the first district and seeking various Iowa House and Senate seats.

I will update this post as needed if I learn of other labor union endorsements. Note that many other Democratic candidates already have or will have organized labor’s official support for the general election campaign. Blog for Iowa posted all of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO’s endorsements for 2014 here. A complete list of candidates who will appear on primary ballots is on this page of the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Continue Reading...

Mike Gronstal sees eight competitive Iowa Senate races

Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal is “fairly confident” going into this year’s state legislative elections, he told Mike Glover in a recent interview. He cited a “pretty good message” to take to voters as well as a “a slight advantage on the map” that will allow Democrats to play “a little less defense and a little more offense,” compared to 2012.

I agree with Gronstal that Democrats are better positioned now to hold their 26 to 24 majority in the upper chamber than they were at the same point two years ago. Follow me after the jump for a quick look at the eight districts the Senate majority leader expects to be targeted this fall.

Continue Reading...

Five Iowa Senate races to watch in 2014

It’s the time of year for blog posts about notable candidates and upcoming elections. Every politically engaged Iowan knows already that 2014 will be an unusually exciting year. We haven’t seen an open U.S. Senate race since 1974. The last time Iowa’s first Congressional district was open was in 2006. The last time Iowa’s third Congressional district was open was in 2002, but it wasn’t a wide open seat, since incumbent Representative Leonard Boswell moved into Polk County to run. Amazingly, 1940 was the “last time there was a Congressional race in Polk County without an incumbent seeking re-election.” All of Iowa’s statewide elected officials are up for re-election as well this year, and the secretary of state’s position may become open if Matt Schultz decides to go for the Republican nomination in IA-03.

Since Bleeding Heartland readers already know about the big Iowa races to watch, I want to focus today and tomorrow on the elections that are likely to determine control of the Iowa House and Senate in 2015 and 2016.  

Continue Reading...

Tom Rubel becomes second Democratic candidate in Iowa Senate district 41

Today Tom Rubel became the second Democrat to enter the race in Iowa Senate district 41, a strong pickup opportunity in 2014. First-term Republican State Senator Mark Chelgren currently represents the district, covering the population centers of Wapello and Jefferson counties, plus all of Davis and Van Buren counties. I’ve posted a map after the jump. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, Senate district 41 contained 15,169 registered Democrats, 11,558 Republicans, and 13,698 no-party voters as of October 2013.

Rubel is a former superintendent of the Ottumwa Community School District and is now executive dean of Regional Economic Advancement at Indian Hills Community College. More background is in his campaign announcement, which I’ve also posted below. He is the second Wapello County-based Democrat to enter this race. Wapello County Supervisor Steve Siegel kicked off his campaign in September. Ed Malloy, the mayor of Fairfield in Jefferson County, is considering this race too. Presumably Malloy would have a better chance in a primary against two people splitting the Ottumwa vote.

Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.

Continue Reading...
View More...