Republican U.S. Senate candidate Steve Rathje is the first, and so far only, candidate to file for Tom Harkin's Senate seat. While the Senator, and Iowa's five U.S. representatives, have all signaled their plans to seek re-election, none of the state's D.C. delegation filed at the Secretary of State's office through the close of last week. The only congressional candidate to file was Lee Harder, one of three candidates expected to vie in the 2nd District Republican primary for the right to take on freshman Democrat Dave Loebsack.
There was considerably more action in filing for state legislative seats.
The race is shaping up in open Senate District 48, where Republican Jeff Angelo is retiring. Republican Kim Reynolds of Osceola has filed, while Ruth Smith of Lamoni hopes to take the seat for the Democrats.
In other open seats, Republican Jarret Heil has filed for the open District 22 seat of Larry McKibben, R-Marshalltown. Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone, is running for the open District 20 seat held by retiring Republican John Putney.
Democratic challenger Sharon Savage is taking on GOP incumbent Jim Hahn in the Muscatine-based Senate District 40.
Incumbent Senators Filing, Feb. 26-29 (2D, 0R)
In the House, there's a possible Democratic primary challenge in Waterloo's District 22. Don Shatzer, an activist opposed to a proposed coal power plant, has filed in incumbent Deborah Berry's district.
Primaries are also shaping up in several Republican open seats. One of those primaries is actually a Democratic contest in Mason City's District 13, held by retiring Republican Bill Schickel. Democrats Texas Newman and Sharon Steckman have joined first-day filer Lionel Foster on the June 3 ballot. Scott Tornquist hopes to hold the targeted seat for the GOP.
Other Republican contests for June 3 will include District 70 in Polk County, where Carmine Boal is stepping down and Kevin Koester and Jeff Wright have filed, and District 55, where Clarence Hoffman is stepping down. Jason Schultz of Schleswig and Don Friedrichsen of Holstien will face off in the primary.
Challengers are emerging in several districts. Democratic challengers will include:
The GOP's challengers so far include Renee Schulte of Cedar Rapids, who lost a Senate race to Democrat Rob Hogg in 2006; this time she's taking on freshman Rep. Art Staed. Algona Republican Stephen Richards is challenging Democrat Dolores Mertz in District 8.
Three open Republican seats in Polk County have one GOP candidate each at the end of the first week. Chris Hagenow is seeking Dan Clute's seat in District 59, Peter Cownie hopes to replace Libby Jacobs in District 60, and Erik Helland is running for Walt Tomenga's open District 69.
In the state's northeast corner, Democrat John Beard has filed for the open seat of the retiring Chuck Gipp, R-Decorah.
Incumbent Representatives Filing, Feb. 26-29 (16D, 5R)