Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hanusa Stays Put In Pair-Up

Hanusa Stays Put In Council Bluffs Pair-Up

Half an answer in Council Bluffs as first term Republican Mary Ann Hanusa announces she's running for re-election in House District 16.

Hanusa is paired up with fellow GOP freshman Mark Brandenburg, who hasn't announced his plans:
Hanusa's decision means Brandenburg, should he decide to seek re-election, would either have to face Hanusa in a Republican primary next year or move into the other Council Bluffs district, newly formed District 15.

"It's a serious decision," Brandenburg said. "It's not that easy. We've been here for 12 years."
House 16 is the southern and more Republican (reg edge +228 as of April) of the two seats, though still swingy. House 15 has no incumbent and is a Democratic (+2100) seat containing all the city's best Democratic precincts. (The city's split last decade was more of an east-west.)

Hanusa, a White House staffer under Bush 43, was the last second replacement nominee for secretary of state in 2006. She beat Democrat Kurt Hubler in old House 99 to hold a relatively even open seat for the Republicans when party switcher Doug Struyk retired. Brandenburg knocked off Democrat Paul Shomshor in Democratic leaning old 100, and had some health issues during the session.

Brandenburg and Hanusa both voted against The Map, Officially because it moved Pottawattamie County out of Steve King's district and into what became the Boswell-Latham mashup.

I'd speculated that one of the two might make the run against Mike Gronstal, which Brandenburg did unsuccessfully in 2008. But PottCo Republicans have recruited Al Ringgenberg instead, even going so far as to make an endorsement nearly a year before the primary.

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