Monday, June 02, 2008

Legislative Primary Scorecard for Tuesday Night

Legislative Primary Scorecard for Tuesday Night

Between the last Democratic presidential contests, and Iowa's contested primaries in three congressional districts and the Republican U.S. Senate race, state legislative races won't be on many radar screens Tuesday night. But several of the contested primaries in deep red or dark blue districts will be decisive or nearly decisive.. But several of the contested primaries in deep red or dark blue districts will be decisive or nearly decisive.

Here's the legislative scorecard for Tuesday night:

Senate District 16: In a Republican primary, Cascade car dealer Dave McLaughlin is favored over Gary Lee Culver of Wyoming. McLaughlin is running against what he calls the "anti-business and anti-job" agenda in Des Moines, while Culver has been mostly invisible. The winner faces Democratic incumbent Tom Hancock, a narrow winner in 2004.

Senate District 18: Blogger Iowa Defense Alliance calls this a "horse race" because Karla Sibert of Palo is a horse rescue activists whose yard signs literally say WHOA!, with pictures of horses. But if you're at the two dollar window, banker Joe Childers of Marion is considered a safer bet for the GOP nomination to replace retiring incumbent Mary Lundby. The winner will see Democratic Rep. Swati Dandekar in the fall.

Senate District 20: Keystone farmer Tim Kapucian, as the endorsed choice of retiring GOP Sen. John Putney, is favored. He's opposed by assistant Tama County attorney Richard Vander Mey, who won only 28% in a 2004 primary challenge to Rep. Lance Horbach. The winner will face Democrat Randy Braden, the Vinton-Shellsburg superintendent.

Senate District 42: Davenport alderman Shawn Hamerlinck is favored for the GOP nomination. Republicans have touted Hamerlinck as one of the strongest challengers. His opponent, Lowe's manager and autism advocate Thomas Black, is running on an anti-smoking ban platform and refusing campaign donations. The winner will challenge Democratic incumbent Frank Wood in a competitive seat.

Senate District 48: Both parties have primaries for this open seat where Republican Jeff Angelo is stepping down. Clarke County treasurer Kim Reynolds of Osceola looks like the leading Republican but will have a primary with contractor Jim Parker of Villisca. Angelo has not endorsed either candidate.

On the Democratic side, 18 year Adams County supervisor Kevin Wynn will see a primary against Ruth Smith of Lamoni, a physical therapist and part-time teacher with two unsuccessful runs for county supervisor, and Matthew Brown of Thayer.

House District 10: Three Democrats want to challenge first-term Rep. Dave Deyoe of Nevada, who beat Democrat Susan Radke by about 700 votes in 2006. Radke is running again; she’ll see a primary against Josh Eaton, an IBEW member, and 20 year old Roland mayor Sam Juhl, who got national attention when he was elected mayor of Roland at age 18 in 2005.

House District 13: Mason City Republican Bill Schickel is stepping down after three terms. 2002 nominee Lionel Foster, longtime head of Mason City’s human rights commission, is trying again; builder Texas Newman and retired teacher Sharon Steckman are also running. The winner faces Republican Scott Tornquist, a Mason City council member.

House District 16: Republican Chuck Gipp is retiring and four Democrats are seeking the open seat nomination. Three Decorah Democrats see an opportunity here: 2006 candidate (41%) Tom Hansen, 2004 Senate candidate (45%) John Beard, and John Franzen. The fourth Democrat Allamakee County Supervisor Lennie Burke, of Dorchester. The winner will face Republican Decorah City Council member Randy Schissel.

House District 19: Republicans will choose between Carlin Hageman, a UNI speech/hearing professor, and recent UNI graduate Marshall Shoemaker, a Ron Paul supporter who says he's been treated as an "unwelcome outsider." Democratic incumbent Bob Kressig has had two close races in this seat.

House District 22: Incumbent Democrat Deborah Berry faces a challenge from anti-coal plant activist Don Shatzer. The Waterloo Courier reports that most party leaders are sticking with Berry, who is criticizing Shatzer as a single-issue candidate. No Republicans filed.

House District 27: In Democratic stronghold Dubuque, incumbent Rep. Pam Jochum is hoping to move to the Senate. Labor leader Francis Giunta and Charles Isenhart, former executive director of the Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council, will face off in the open seat against Adam Mennig, a recent Clarke College graduate who’s already won a seat on the Dubuque School Board.

The Dubuque Telegraph-Herald reports that residence is an issue in the race. Isenhart and Mennig live blocks outside the district boundaries, while Giunta moved into the district in March. That gives him at least a one-vote advantage over his rivals, who won't be able to vote for themselves.

Whoever wins has until early September to establish residence in the district, and will be a strong favorite over Republican Lou Oswald.

House District 41: 2006 Republican candidate (37%) Adam Vandall of Newton faces Susan Schmidt of Kellogg in the primary. The winner will challenge Democratic incumbent Paul Bell.

House District 42: Teamsters leader Matt Ballard is challenging incumbent Rep. Geri Huser in the Altoona-based district. In a left-right fight, Ballard is emphasizing health care and labor-backed "fair share" legislation, while Huser is focused on economic delevopment.

House District 55: In Ida County, Republican Clarence Hoffman is retiring. Galva-Holstein School board member Don Friedrichsen says he was recruited by Hoffman. Insurance adjustor Jason Schultz of Schleswig has endorsements from Congressman Steve King, Iowa Right to Life, and Iowans For Tax Relief.

House District 59: With one-term Republican Dan Clute leaving, both parties have contests. Chris Hagenow looks like the main-chance Republican; he ran a credible but failed county recorder race against a divided Polk County Democratic Party in 2006, and has the support of Clute, Iowa Right To Life, and Iowans for Tax Relief. Susan Murphy, a former Clive City Council member and Branstad/Grassley staffer, is emphasizing experience.

On the Democratic side, Windsor Heights mayor Jerry Sullivan is favored to beat ISU computer scientist Mark Matel.

House District 62: Either of the two Republicans -- Chris Sanger and Jeremy Walters -- would face an uphill battle against Democratic incumbent Bruce Hunter on the south side of Des Moines.

House District 65
: Rep. Wayne Ford, of inner city Des Moines, faces primary challengers Charles Hoffman and community organizer Tyler Reedy in a race the Des Moines Register is calling as diverse as the district.

House District 69: Party loyalty is an issue in this big-spending race. Al Lorenzen of Granger, a former Hawkeye hoops player, says he was recruited to both the race and the Republican Party by former Governor Bob Ray. He's being bashed for his past Democratic affiliation by Erik Helland of Grimes, who has the requisite Iowa Right to Life and Iowans for Tax Relief backing. Unless a Democratic candidate emerges in this district, the winner will take over from retiring GOP incumbent Walt Tomenga.

House District 70: Two Republicans will face off in the open Ankeny-based seat of retiring Republican Carmine Boal. Ankeny Community Education Director Kevin Koester is emphasizing taxes; attorney Jeff Wright is focused on abortion. The winner will oppose Democrat Matt Pfaltzgraf in the fall.

House District 71: The lone Republican incumbent with a primary challenger is Rep. Jim Van Engelenhoeven of Pella. Marc Held, also of Pella, is part of a complicated family custody case and running to draw attention to the issue. "I am running for the position; I'm not running against Jim," he told the Pella Town Crier. The winner faces Democrat Pat Van Zante.

House District 92: Three Democrats want to replace retiring Keokuk incumbent Phil Wise. Like the Dubuque race, residence is also an issue. Ft. Madison Chamber of Commerce head, former county supervisor, and onetime congressional candidate Tracy Vance lives literally feet outside the district, but says he's moving in win or lose. The other two candidates are both from Keokuk candidates and both have United Auto Workers roots: Jerry Kearns and Ron Payne.

In a county that has two courthouses in two cities, residence also matters in a different way. The last contested primary in this seat divided sharply and almost evenly on Ft. Madison vs. Keokuk lines. Wise was paired in redistricting with Ft. Madison Rep. Rick Larkin in the only incumbent vs. incumbent primary of the 2002 cycle, which wise won 51 percent to 49 percent.

The Democratic winner should be a November favorite over Republican Gary Ramaker.

House District 94: In a Davis County based district, Republicans John Bridges of Centerville and Howard Hubbard of Floris face off for the right to run against Bloomfield Democratic incumbent Kurt Swaim. Bridges says he decided to run because of the gay marriage issue.

No comments: