Joe Judge Announces in House 80
The first family of Monroe County Democratic politics may be sending its third member to the legislature. Former county chair Joe Judge has announced in open House District 80.
Judge, a 33 year old teacher, is the son of former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge and former Sen. John Judge (who succeeded Patty in the Senate when she became Secretary of Agriculture). He announced his candidacy Sunday on line (hat tip to Newton Rep. Dan Kelley) and at a party fundraiser in Centerville.
"I am very excited to begin this campaign and talk about the issues that affect Appanoose, Monroe, Wapello, and Mahaska counties," said Judge on Facebook. "I will need a lot of help so if you are willing to join our campaign, please let me know."
The district includes all of Appanoose and Monroe Counties, western Wapello and eastern Mahaska; it comes up to the city limits of Ottumwa and Oskalooosa but includes neither. The seat has a near even party split, with Democrats holding a registration edge of 97 voters. It lies next to three districts with paired-up representatives: Republicans Jarad Klein and Betty DeBoef in 78, and Republicans Jim Van Engelenhoeven and Guy Vander Linden in 79. So if someone moves in, Judge may find himself faced with an incumbent, but none of the possible moves seem like quite the right fit. (The third pair has been resolved: Bloomfield Democrat Kurt Swaim is not running in 82 and Curt Hanson, D-Fairfield, is.) In the old map, Appanoose was in Swaim's district, while Monroe went west into Republican Rich Arnold's turf.