King, Conlin, Roberts File Thursday
A statewide Democratic primary is for real as Roxanne Conlin turns in the papers for the US Senate. Iowa Democrats haven't had a US Senate primary since 1992, and there hasn't been a serious Democratic Senate primary since at least the 1960s. (Will we see Tom Fiegen or the indefatigable Sal Mohamed file tomorrow?)
Steve King files for a fifth term in the 5th District, and picks up another opponent as Matt Campbell joins Mike Denklau on the Democratic primary ballot.
And there's now no turning back for Carroll's Rod Roberts, as the legislator files for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. He's the third and final candidate of what was once a seven-way race.
(The Democratic nomination appears set, though; Jonathan Narcisse tells the Reg that he won't file against Chet Culver in the primary and will proceed straight to the general as an independent. He says he had the signatures for the primary... but wouldn't show Kathie Obradovich.)
The 3rd CD primary field gets even bigger as Pat Bertrouche and Mark Rees are the fifth and sixth candidates in. And in the 1st CD, Will Johnson of Dubuque becomes the fourth candidate. There's also four Republicans in the 2nd District; conventions, anyone?
Moving down the statewide ballot, former Steve King aide Brenna Findley will challenge longtime Democratic attorney general Tom Miller, who had no opponent at all in 2006. And a release from Democratic Secretary of Agriculture candidate Francis Thicke says he's filing Friday at 9 A.M.
Two candidates file in open Sioux City Senate District 27. Republican Bill Anderson hopes to hold Ron Weick's seat for the party; Democrat Marty Pottebaum wants to make this a Democratic gain. Weick was unopposed in 2006.
Those nonpartisan offices as team benches again: Waterloo City Council member Ron Welper is the Republican challenger to Sen. Bill Dotzler (D-Waterloo). Dotzler was a 70% winner in Senate District 11 four years ago.
Democrats will see a primary in Senate District 13, where Clinton Democrat Roger Stewart is retiring. Ed O'Neill had a head start but Tod Bowman of Maquoketa will make it a contest. The winner is likely to face basketball coach Andrew Naeve.
Dennis Black (D-Grinnell) files for another term in Senate 21 and will face the winner of a GOP primary between Wes Enos and Joe Pirillo.
Ankeny Republican incumbent Larry Noble won a close-fought open-seat District 35 race four years ago, when Jeff Lamberti left to run for Congress.
Ames attorney Timothy Gartin, a Republican, will challenge Democratic incumbent Herman Quirmbach in Senate District 23. Quirmbach was a 57% winner in 2006.
Two incumbents both filed and got something they didn't see in 2006: opponents. In Davenport's Senate District 43, Democratic Sen. Joe Seng faces Republican Mark Holloway. Over in the southwest corner, Republican Sen. Hubert Houser will face Democrat Scott Schondelmeyer.
Rick Marlar is the third Republican to file in Senate District 45, where former legislator Sandy Greiner is heavily favored to win the primary and face Fairfield freshman Democrat Becky Schmitz.
Des Moines Democratic incumbents Matt McCoy (District 31) and Jack Hatch (33) both filed. McCoy won handily in 2006 and Hatch was unopposed.
In the House, the big news was a non-filing as Davenport Democrat Elesha Gayman steps down after two terms.
Primaries on both side in House District 21: former Waterloo mayor John Rooff filed on the GOP side where he'll face Lyn Tackett. On the Democratic side, Anesa Kajtazovic is challenging incumbent Kerry Burt, who let's say has had a difficult first term.
In what appears to be the only primary in either party among Sioux City's five open seat races (says Bret Hayworth), Republican Cate Bryan filed in House District 2. 2008 near-winner Rick Bertrand is still on the list but expected to switch to the Senate race, and Ryan Beardshear is announced in the House 2 race. Still with me? The winner will see Democrat Chris Hall in November. (How would more contested primaries have rippled into the governor's race, and maybe helped Sioux City's Bob Vander Plaats?)
Algona Democrat Susan Bangert hopes to hold House District 8, where conservaDem Dolores Mertz is retiring after two decades. Bangert will face the winner of a contentious Republican primary between tea party favorite Tom Shaw (who originally announced as an independent) and 2008 nominee Stephen Richards, who lost to Mertz by just 43 votes.
Mason City insurance agent Brian Randall is hoping to take back House District 13 for the Republicans. Democrat Sharon Steckman picked up the seat in 2008 when Republican Bill Schickel retired.
Another Republican trying to take back a seat from a freshman Democrat is former Davenport city council member Carla Batchelor in House District 81. Democrat Phyllis Thede knocked off Jamie (the younger) Van Fossen in 2008.
Current Davenport council member Ray Ambrose, also a Republican, is challenging Rep. Cindy Winckler (D-Davenport) in House 86. Winckler was about a 70% winner in 2008.
There's a primary in House District 42; unfortunately it's on the Republican side. Six Packer Geri Huser, who beat a union-backed primary challenge in 2008 then was uncontested in the fall, filed again. Kim Pearson of Pleasant Hill joins Altoona's Aaron Warner in the GOP primary.
In Ames, Republican businessman Chad Steenhoek filed in House District 46 against incumbent Lisa Heddens (who faced only Libertarian opposition in 2008).
Democratic student Nathan Clubb of Sigourney is challinging GOP incumbent Betty DeBoef in House District 76.
Dubuque Republican Hank Linden is challenging first term Rep. Charles Isenhart, who won the open seat easily in the 2008 general when Pam Jochum moved to the Senate.
Some GOP challengers in Des Moines: Former Polk County GOP chair Darlene Blake is challenging Democratic incumbent Jo Oldson in House District 61. And Dan Kennedy is opposing Democratic Rep. Janet Petersen in District 64. Both Democrats won two to one 2008 victories.