Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Koester stays put

Koester stays put, announces in House 38

The comforts of home seem to have outweighed the prospects of redder turf for two-term state rep Kevin Koester. The Ankeny Republican has announced for re-election in House District 38, where he currently lives.

Koester is all alone in House 38, but there was a temptation next door: open House District 37, also known to my readers as the This Is Where Your District Went district.

Ankeny grew from 27,000 in the 2000 census to 45,000 in 2010, and for the first time was split into two House seats. The north district, 37, is solidly Republican, but the south seat, 38, is a swing seat with a slight Democratic tilt.

Koester tried for a move-up in January when the Ankeny based Senate seat opened up. But in a rare rebuke to a just re-elected legislator, he was one of the first candidates eliminated at a multi-candidate party nominating convention. (Jack Whitver won that and the election.) So there may be primary vulnerability, which an opportunistic move wouldn't help. Staying in the tougher district may thus have been the smarter choice. Or it may be as simple as not wanting to move.

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