Friday, July 22, 2011

Same Candidate, Different Opponent

Same Candidate, Different Opponent

Here's one way redistricting reshuffles the deck: A 2010 Democratic challenger is running again, but this time against a different Republican incumbent.

Mark Seidl, last seen challenging Renee Schulte in 2010, is redrawn into new House District 67 and will challenge House Speaker Kraig Paulsen.
“I am disappointed in the leadership Kraig Paulsen provided during the last session of the Legislature,” said Seidl. “After promising to focus on creating jobs and improving the Iowa economy, Paulsen led House Republicans in pursuit of extreme policies that neither represent the view of most Iowans nor help to move our state forward.”

“I am running because we have to put an end to the ideology and bickering that have made it impossible for government to get its job done. While our schools, which used to be the best in the nation, are suffering funding cuts and our universities are increasingly out of financial reach for the children of working Iowans, our State is sitting on a billion dollars in surplus funds. This money should be invested in our children, who are our future. The men most responsible for the government's failure to make that investment are Terry Branstad and Kraig Paulsen. To make this a government of, by, and for the people again, we need to start by replacing the Speaker of the House, who is responsible for this failure to invest in our children, and that's Kraig Paulsen."
Seidl was a highly touted House challenger in 2010. It was one of the few districts where Democrats looked like they were going to play offense, after Schulte knocked off first-term Dem Art Staed by just 13 votes in 2008. (Last week Staed announced he will challenge Schulte again next year.) But there was too much defense to play any offense, and Seidl fell about 1100 votes short.

The new district has some convoluted lines, but all of them follow city limits; the northern part of the Cedar Rapids metro area was the scene of an annexation war this past decade. The district includes all or part of four cities: Hiawatha, Robins, north Cedar Rapids, and northwest Marion.

Paulsen's old district was a swing seat, with a slim Democratic edge, and he had relatively close races his first three terms. This new seat gives him an 1100 edge in Republican registration. He avoided opposition in 2010.

Seidl's announcement makes him the third Linn County Democratic challenger already announced at this early date. In addition to Staed, Daniel Lundby has announced against GOP incumbent Nick Wagner in Marion-based House 68.

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