Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Scott! A Primary?

Great Scott! A Primary?

The QCTimes notes what I had a couple weeks back: Senator Jim Hahn, R-Muscatine, IS staying put and running in Senate 46. Most folks, including me, had this pegged as a Hahn retirement from about Map Day forward.

The article says this means "setting up a likely Republican primary against his colleague, Sen. Shawn Hamerlinck," and is centered around this assumption. But it also notes "Hamerlinck left himself some wiggle room Friday, when he said he hadn’t guaranteed he’ll run in the district, but added, 'It’s my intention that I will.'"

Stop, Hammer Time, or, Stop Hammer Time!

Hamerlinck already goes home to a different home than he did when elected. He was on the Davenport city council when he knocked off Frank Wood in 2008. And some of his old turf is in Senate 49, the only empty odd-number seat in the state. (Odd seats normally vote on the gubernatorial cycle. But if he moved in, Hamerlinck would have to run for a two year term since the 2008 term expires.)

One complication with that move: Andrew Naeve, who lost to Democrat Tod Bowman by just 71 votes last year, has already announced (and he didn't file for re-election to his school board seat). So Hamerlinck could get a primary either way.

And this wave just keeps rippling upstream: Bowman, whose Maquoketa home is drawn out of Clinton-based Senate 49, is paired up with Dubuque County's Tom Hancock. But note this item: "State Rep. Chuck Isenhart, D-Dubuque, and state Sen. Tod Bowman, D-Maquoketa, will hold a public hearing Monday in Dubuque to get additional input in advance of the recommendations to transform Iowa’s education system."

In Dubuque. Well north of Bowman's old lines. That's telling me Bowman stays and runs in the Jackson-rural Dubuque Senate 29, which wraps around the Dubuque city limits. That points to a Hancock retirement...

I started this post out with two Republicans and ended up with two Democrats. So let's assume there IS a Hahn-Hamerlinck primary. It'd be the second confirmed two incumbent primary in the state, joining the sure to be epic Pat Grassley-Annette Sweeney House battle. And it's be on even terms: exactly half the district is Muscatine County, exactly half is Scott. That kind of contest usually comes down to friends and neighbors and which half has higher turnout. Things like an interesting primary for a courthouse job could make the difference.

Also noted, and much less interesting, in Scott County: Rep. Linda Miller announces for re-election in Bettendorf's House 94. She knocked off incumbent Joe Hutter twice in 2006: first in the primary, then again when he ran independent in the general. Miller hasn't had an opponent since.

And in Cedar Rapids, Renee Schulte takes time off the Romney campaign -- yes, Iowans, there IS a Romney campaign -- to announce for her own re-election in HD66. The Dem she knocked off in `08, Art Staed, has already announced; Bleeding Heartland has a good look.

Here's some long reads that don't fit anywhere else:

  • Craig Robinson smacks down the pizza guy: "Herman Cain has a book due out in October. One has to wonder if his presidential bid is more about selling books than becoming the GOP nominee." Hey, when does Newt publish again?

  • As would-be GOP saviour the Platypus is turning out to be just Texas tea, the background on why the Bushes and Rick Perry are on the outs.

  • Let Obama Be Obama vs. Let Obama be Harry Truman.

  • And my favorite dream of the week: "If America truly is serious about dealing with its deficit problems, there's a fairly simple solution. But you're probably not going to like it: Enact a single-payer health care plan." Who said I wasn't going to like it?
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