Todd Prichard is the Dem choice for HD 52 UPDATED

( - promoted by desmoinesdem)

UPDATE: Todd has an ActBlue account.  You can help put another Democrat in the Iowa House at: https://secure.actblue.com/entity/fundraiser/33307

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Democrats in House District 52 held a contested convention last night to choose a candidate to replace Brian Quirk, who resigned a few weeks after winning reelection.  Two candidates came forward: retired teacher Tom Sauser of New Hampton and Todd Prichard, a lawyer from Charles City. Prichard won with 4988 allocated votes to 3790 for Sauser.

Tom Sauser deserves appreciation for being willing to step forward and run.  Running for office is no walk in the park in any season, but January in Iowa, two months after a national election, during the Christmas season, has to be the worst possible timing.

He was the first to enter the race, and was recruited by Quirk, a  conservative Democrat who was, until recently, a member of ALEC. Sauser taught middle school for 38 years, and retired in 2011.  He conceded that he was not conversant with many issues affecting the state, but committed to learn as much as he could, and listen to his constituents.  His speech, which he read from prepared remarks, was well-received. He had introduced himself to Floyd County Democrats in a meeting on Wednesday last week, a meeting that Prichard attended. It was clear from that meeting that Sauser had a steep learning curve ahead of him, but anyone in that room would have preferred him to the various far-right Republicans who are rumored to be running.The Chickasaw County delegates clearly regarded him with respect and affection.

Todd Prichard left the Wednesday meeting thinking about running himself.  He called Floyd Democrats through the weekend and made the decision on Sunday. He immediately had the support of many of the people who have been knocking doors in Floyd County throughout 2012.  He is an activist–always there when there is a candidate event or grunt work to do, and very well-liked.

By Monday evening, the word was out that the convention would not be a pro-forma event, and delegates showed up from all but one precinct in Cerro Gordo and two precincts in Chickasaw.  Because of redistricting, Chickasaw and Floyd Counties were combined for the first time in the 2012 election, and activists from each county were wearing name tags and introducing themselves to one another. With a coin flip, Prichard chose to speak second, so Sauser spoke first.  Each candidate gave gracious assurances to the other that he would support the victor.

More on the convention, and what Prichard had to say, below the fold.

 

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Republican Dan Feuling running in Iowa House district 52

Former New Hampton Tribune newspaper publisher Dan Feuling is the first declared Republican candidate for the January 22 special election in Iowa House district 52 (hat tip to John Deeth). Feuling told the New Hampton Tribune that Governor Terry Branstad “called me to ask me to run.” It’s not clear whether any other Republican will step forward before a special district nominating convention.

Feuling’s likely Democratic opponent is Tom Sauser, a retired teacher and coach recruited by outgoing State Representative Brian Quirk.

A district map and the latest voter registration numbers in Iowa House district 52 are after the jump.

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Democrat Tom Sauser running in Iowa House district 52

Tom Sauser, a retired middle school teacher and New Hampton High School coach, declared his candidacy yesterday in Iowa House district 52. A special election to replace Democratic State Representative Brian Quirk will take place in early 2013. Bleeding Heartland posted a district map and voter registration numbers here.

After the jump I’ve posted Sauser’s campaign announcement, which includes a short bio. He was Quirk’s high school football coach. A lot of Iowa House members are current or retired teachers. They can be good candidates, because hundreds or thousands of potential constituents are former students or relatives of students.

I’ll be interested to see whether any Democrat from Floyd County seeks the nomination in this race. Both parties will hold choose candidates for House district 52 in special district nominating conventions.

UPDATE: Quirk confirms that he recruited Sauser, and Craig Clark of Floyd County says he will run in the special election, probably as an independent. Clark received about 29 percent of the vote as an independent candidate against Quirk this year. No Republican ran for the seat.

SECOND UPDATE: Governor Terry Branstad set the special election for Tuesday, January 22. That’s the week after the 2013 legislative session begins.

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