Another Special, Another Opportunity?
This time Terry Branstad gives a Republican who WON an election a job, tapping just-re-elected Senator Larry Noble ( a retired state trooper) to head the Department of Public Safety. That sets up another special election, this one right in metro Des Moines.
The easy way to visualize the map is: most of Polk County north of I-80. Not exact (Bondurant is the main exception) but damn close. Ankeny has about half the population, the rest is mostly in Johnston, Grimes, and Saylorville.
This was Jeff Lamberti's turf until he gave it up to take his shot at Leonard Boswell. Democrat Merle Johnson made a serious effort in 2006, but with an ideal candidate and a great environment, the Dems fell just short of Noble.
Despite that close `06 race, this is one of the ones the Democrats let go this year as Noble and the two Republican reps from the district, Erik Helland and Kevin Koester, went uncontested.
Every special election is an opportunity, a chance to test your ground game and throw all your resources into one place. But if Terry Branstad thought it was at risk, would Noble have gotten the job?