Before Tom Harkin launched a statewide re-election tour last weekend, he made it official: the four-term U.S. senator filed his re-election papers. Harkin, a Democrat, joined two incumbent Democrats, Rep. Bruce Braley and Rep. Dave Loebsack, and an incumbent Republican, Rep. Tom Latham, with official spots on the June 3 primary ballot. Also filing in the second full week: Ed Fallon, who’s challenging incumbent Rep. Leonard Boswell in the 3rd District Democratic primary, and several dozen state legislators and candidates.
Boswell and Republican Steve King have announced but not yet filed. The deadline is Friday.
One of Latham’s challengers in the 4th District, Democrat Kurt Meyer of St. Ansgar, completed his paperwork over the last week. And while he didn’t file, a potential GOP challenger to 1st District Democrat emerged: state Sen. David Hartsuch, R-Davenport. Hartsuch, a conservative who knocked off moderate Maggie Tinsman in the 2006 primary, is in midterm and would keep his legislative seat if he runs and loses. He’s passing paperwork across the district, but says he hasn’t decided yet.
In the most intriguing state senate filing, Pella City Council member Bruce Schiebout, a Republican, has filed in the Senate District 36 seat of Paul McKinley, R-Chariton. Two-term Sen. McKinley, who lost a leadership fight last year, has announced his candidacy but hasn’t yet filed.
Former Sen. Al Sorenson, D-Boone, is hoping for a comeback against Republican incumbent Jerry Behn, also from Boone, in Senate District 24.
The two incumbent Democratic representatives running for Senate seats filed last week. Rep. Pam Jochum, D-Dubuque, is running in Senate District 14, where fellow Democrat Mike Connolly is retiring. Rep. Swati Dandekar, D-Marion, filed in Senate District 18, where she’ll face Republican Joe Childers. GOP incumbent Mary Lundby is stepping down to run for the Linn County Board of Supervisiors. Meanwhile, in Dandekar’s open House District 36 seat, Democrat Gretchen Lawyer is likely to face Republican Nick Wagner, a Marion city council member. In Jochum’s House District 27 seat, Communications Workers leader Francis Giunta, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy.
Incumbent Senators Filing, March 3-7 (3D, 2R)
On the House side, three primary challenges have emerged. In Waterloo’s House District 21, incumbent Democrat Deborah Berry filed last week; she’ll face challenger Don Shatzer. Shatzer has been active against a proposed coal plant in Black Hawk County. Berry, perhaps in response, has offered legislation on the issue.
Charles Hoffmann, a recent graduate of the William Penn University College for Working Adults, is challenging Rep. Wayne Ford in the Democratic primary in House District 65 in Des Moines. In Pella-centered House District 71, Marc Held is taking his activism in a complex child custody case into a legislative race. He faces incumbent Jim Van Engelenhoven in the primary; the winner faces Democrat Pat Van Zante.
Democrats Mark Matel and Windsor Heights Mayor Jerry Sullivan face off in Polk County’s District 59, where Republican Dan Clute is retiring. The primary winner faces Republican Chris Hagenow.
A second Democrat has filed in House District 16, where Rep. Chuck Gipp, R-Decorah, is retiring. John Franzen faces former state Senate candidate John Beard in the Democratic primary; no Republican has filed yet.
Open seat races are shaping up in several districts. Democrat Tim Hoy, the former mayor of Eldora who came just 260 votes short of knocking off Republican Polly Granzow in 2006, is trying again this year. Granzow is stepping down; Annette Sweeney of Buckeye hasn’t filed yet, but hopes to hold the seat for the GOP. In Washington County-based House District 89, Republican Jarad Klein of Keota faces Riverside Democrat Larry Marek for the seat of retiring Republican Sandy Greiner.
Republican challengers filed last week in some of the GOP’s top-targeted races. Walcott Republican farmer Ross Paustian is challenging first term Rep. Elesha Gayman, D-Davenport. Republican Robert Howard of the Muscatine City Council is challenging Rep. Nathan Reichert, D-Muscatine, in House District 80. In District 9, talk radio host Jamie Johnson, a Stratford Republican, is taking on freshman Rep. McKinley Bailey, D-Webster City.
Other GOP challengers include two Jeremys: Jeremy Taylor is opposing Rep. Wes Whitead in Sioux City’s District 1, and Jeremy Walters faces Rep. Bruce Hunter in District 62 in Des Moines.
Democratic challengers include Ron Fedler, taking on Mt. Pleasant Republican Rep. Dave Heaton in District 91, and Maxine Bussanmas, facing Winterset’s Republican Rep. Jodi Tymeson in House District 73. Democrat Susan Temere, who appears not to have listed an address on her paperwork, is running in District 47 in Dallas County
Incumbent Representatives Filing, March 3-7 (18D, 9R)