No doubt to the relief of many Democrats, State Rep. Kerry Burt (D-Waterloo) announced today that he was ending his bid for a second term, as the Attorney General's office filed criminal charges in the Price Laboratory School case.
Burt's withdrawal leaves his primary challenger, Anesa Kajtazovic, as the Democratic nominee in House 21 -- or does it?
Ya see, Burt's decision comes after the official dropout deadline. So he's ON the ballot not matter what. (And I mean No. Matter What. Remember State Rep. Mary Lou Freeman getting re-elected while dead in 2006?)
So Kajtazovic has the challenge of running against a phantom candidate. But every indication is she's a strong candidate in her own right and she could well have defeated Burt. Reportedly, Kajtazovic was quietly getting help from Black Hawk Dems who didn't yet want to publicly oppose Burt.
In any case, the phantom primary should be a good dry run and good publicity and name ID for Kajtazovic. And House 21 will win the revolving door award with two consecutive one-term members (Burt knocked off Republican Tami Weincek in 2008, after Weincek defeated long-time legislator Don Shoultz in `06)
Republicans want this seat back bad; Weincek was one of the very few Republican gains anywhere in the country in 2006. Former Waterloo mayor John Rooff will face Lyn Tackett in the GOP primary. But whoever wins will now face the stronger Democratic candidate, Kajtazovic.