Just four years ago, the late Mary Lundby was leading the Republicans in the Iowa Senate. Now, in a symbolically powerful indication of the demise of the moderate wing of the GOP, her son Daniel Lundby is running for the Marion House seat she once held... but as a Democrat.
“She saw a need for fresh new ideas not fueled by party agendas, but through listening to the voters who elected her," said Daniel Lundby in his press release:
"It is that same attention my mother gave her voters that I want to bring back to the constituents of House District 68.”
Explaining his decision to switch parties, Lundby said, “I changed my party affiliation from Republican to Democrat because the Republican Party and the people I was supporting no longer placed the best interests of Iowa and its voters before their own party agenda.”
Lundby is challenging Republican Rep. Nick Wagner, who went to the House in 2008 in a seat shuffle prompted by Mary Lundby's retirement. (She had planned to run for the Board of Supervisors, but cancer that had been in remission returned and she passed away in early 2009.) Democrat Swati Dandekar went from the House to Senate, and Wagner (who lost the 2006 House race to Dandekar) won the House seat. He then, inexcusably, got an uncontested free ride last year.
Democrats had a voter registration edge of 544 as of early April in the new district. It no longer includes all of Marion, which grew too large for a House district this census. The most Republican part of town is now in speaker Kraig Paulsen's district. In addition to the bigger chunk of Marion, House 68 goes south to include Bertram and Ely, new ground for Wagner.