Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Three Independent Congressional Candidates File

Three Independent Congressional Candidates File

At least three of Iowa's U.S House races are now three-way contests, as independent candidates join the races.

In the 2nd Congressional District, independent Brian White of North Liberty, a self-described moderate, followed through on his announced candidacy and filed. He joins Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack and Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. But 5th District candidate Victor Vara of Sioux City is an unexpected addition to the race between Republican incumbent Steve King and Democrat Rob Hubler.

Socialist Workers Party (SWP) candidate Frank Forrestal filed in the 3rd Congressional District, where he'll face Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell and Republican Kim Schmett. The SWP also filed for president on Tuesday. But the presidential candidate Iowa voters will see on their ballots isn't the party's official nominee.

The SWP, a regular fixture on Iowa ballots in presidential years, has nominated Róger Calero, who also ran in 2004. But Calero is constitutionally ineligible for the presidency, just like Arnold Schwarzenegger, as he is not a native-born U.S. citizen.

"The SWP was for many years the leading voice of Trotskyism in the USA," writes ballot completist Ron Gunzburger of "Since the 1980s, the SWP has drifted away from Trotskyism and moved towards the brand of authoritarian politics espoused by Cuban leader Fidel Castro's style of Marxism." The SWP is the group that actively sells The Militant newspaper.

James Harris will serve as the SWP's stand-in candidate in Iowa, just as he did in 2004. Harris will appear alongside the official vice presidential nominee, Alyson Kennedy. It's not clear what will happen if the Яevolutioи occurs and the SWP wins, but they'll have to improve on their 374 votes in 2004 in Iowa (out of 1.5 million cast) for the question to matter.

Announced SWP U.S. Senate candidate Diana Newberry did not file Tuesday. The deadline is Friday and 1,500 signatures are required.

In state legislative races:

  • Republican Vic Mokricky, a retired teacher, was nominated in Waterloo's House District 20. First-term Democratic incumbent Doris Kelley won with only 51.5 percent in 2006. Mokricky's nomination leaves 30 races still uncontested.

  • In Clinton's House District 26, previously announced Republican Jonathan Van Roekel officially filed against Democratic incumbent Polly Bukta.

  • Libertarian Russ Gibson filed in open House District 60 against Republican Peter Cownie and Democrat Alan Koslow.
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