The most recognizable names to file today are a pair of Republicans: Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey and House Minority leader Kraig Paulsen (R-Hiawatha) in House District 35. Northey listed an Urbandale address on the papers; when first elected in 2006 he listed Spirit Lake as home. How can you keep `em down on the farm after they've seen Des Moines?
My local readers will also note that Rep. Mary Mascher (D-Iowa City) filed in House District 77 (downtown and west side).
I was off the grid Friday afternoon, but I didn't miss much. Plenty of other people noticed that despite my best efforts, Leonard Boswell filed for another term. State treasurer Mike Fitzgerald also filed. The first two Fridays of filing season are quiet, as the legislators leave town late Thursday. Deadline Friday (March 19 this year), in contrast, is always always always the single busiest day. (I remember my legislative politics professor back in my undergrad days saying legislators and college students had a lot in common: they do the assignment at the last minute. He must have seen a couple of our end of session all-nighters.)
That said, on with the updates.
Keosauqua businessman Randy Besick is the first to file in Senate District 45's expected Republican primary, but that seems like a mere footnote as former legislator Sandy Greiner announces. Bleeding Heartland has a must-read overview of the race. KCII Radio in Washington notes that two others are announced: Rick Marlar of Wayland and perennial candidate Dan Cesar.
The primary winner takes on first term Sen. Becky Schmitz (D-Fairfield), who also filed Monday. Schmitz knocked off Republican Dave Miller in 2006 in a district that runs from the Iowa City limits to the Missouri border. Schmitz's 184 vote margin puts her high on the target list.
Greiner's not alone on the comeback trail. Remember back in 2006 how much all the Iowa lefty bloggers thought congressional candidate Selden Spencer had a real shot in the 4th CD against Tom Latham? (While everyone except me ignored Dave Loebsack?) And how Spencer started, then abandoned, a 2008 run? Well now the doctor (D-Huxley) has his sights set on the legislature instead, filing today in House District 10, now held by Dave Deyoe.
He hasn't filed yet, but former Senate leader and RPI chair Stu Iverson is getting ready to challenge two term District 9 Rep. McKinley Bailey (D-Webster City) one of the "six pack" of more conservative Dems who blocked labor's bills last year. Bailey filed Monday.
Over at Iowa Republican, Krusty Konservative calls Stu an "idiot" today:
"Is there really nobody else that we could run in that seat? Is Stu the best we can do?
I’ll predict McKinley Bailey will win re-election this November. I think that the six-pack of pro-business Democrats are probably the toughest to run against for any Republican, let a lone a guy who was kicked to the curb in the State Senate.
Iverson is going to look like an idiot when he loses to Bailey in November."
That hasn't stopped George Eichhorn, who Bailey knocked off in 2006, from running for US Senate in 2008 and Secretary of State this cycle... [/tangent]
Two other six-packers drew Republican opponents (none of those primary challengers we heard about yet...) Brian Quirk (D-New Hampton) will face Spillville mayor Michael Klimesh, who filed as a Republican in House District 15, mostly in Howard and Chickasaw counties.
And up in House District 8 (Pocahontas, Humboldt, part of Kossuth), Republican Stephen Richards will try again. Richards lost to the most conservative Dem in the House, Dolores Mertz, by only 43 votes in 2008.
Here's another familiar name: Democrat Kurt Hubler, who lost by less than 400 votes to turncoat ex-Dem Doug Struyk (R-Council Bluffs) in 2008, will try again in House 99. Kurt's dad Rob Hubler, who lost the 5th Congressional race to Steve King last cycle, just signed on with Francis Thicke's Secretary of Agriculture campaign.
We'll see a GOP primary in House District 75 for the right to challenge two-term Democrat Eric Palmer. Grinnell city council member Larry Wilson filed last week. Today retired Marine Gen. Guy Vander Linden of Oskaloosa joined the race. Vander Linden's duties included piloting presidential helicopter Marine One in the Reagan and Bush 41 era.
Another Republican pilot on the ballot is Bill Yewell of Ogden, who was Friday's lone down-ballot candidate to file. He's challenging Rep. Donovan Olson (D-Boone, here's the obligatory Minutemen reference).
Ed O'Neill, chosen successor to retiring Clinton Democrat Roger Stewart, makes it official and turns in the papers in Senate District 13.
Republican Larry Sheets will challenge Democrat Kurt Swaim (D-Bloomfield) in House District 94 (David, Appanoose and Wayne Counties). Sheets is on the Moulton-Udell school board.
Pella adoption activist Marc Held will try again in House District 71. He primaried Republican incumbent Jim Van Engelenhoven in 2008 but polled only 28 percent.
Republican Jeremy Walters filed in Des Moines' House District 67. Democratic Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy won big over former one-term legislator Larry Disney two years ago. (Note: At some point somehow I got it in my brain that Kevin wasn't running again, and unfortunately that idea got posted. My bad...)
House 82 incumbent Linda Miller (R-Bettendorf) also filed Monday. Miller beat incumbent Joe Hutter twice in 2006: once in the primary and again in the general when Hutter ran as an independent. After that drama, Miller was unopposed in both June and November 2008.
Three other incumbents who won easily in 2008 filed again: David Tjepkes (R-Gowrie) in House District 50, Rick Olson (D-Des Moines) in House 68 and Mike Reasoner (D-Creston) in House 95.
Today was also day one of the filing window for county offices; that deadline is March 31. No action here in Johnson County.