Kruse Announces In Senate 42
Via Iowa Indy: Republicans in the southeast corner of the state have a recruit for Senate District 42. Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse announced at a local GOP fundraiser over the weekend.
The incumbent, Democrat Gene Fraise, has held some variation of this seat since 1986. Fraise, who turns 80 next year, hasn't announced his plans. He has beaten Republican Doug Abolt twice in a row. It was relatively close at 53% in 2004; Fraise improved that to 57 in the 2008 rematch.
"Lee County has a history of 'promoting' its members of the board of supervisors" to the legislature, notes Joe Benedict in the Keokuk Gate City. Both Fraise and State Rep. Jerry Kearns went from the Board to the legislature. Rick Larkin made a round trip: Supervisor to House, then back to Supervisor after a redistricting pair-up.
Key difference: all of them were Democrats. Senate 42 had an April Democratic registration edge of about 3500. It includes all of Fraise's territory from last decade, when it was all of Henry and Lee counties and nothing else. This decade it adds parts of Washington and Jefferson counties.
Kruse seems to be mindful of that Democratic edge, citing a "track record of bi-partisan results."
Kruse has been in office since 2004; his supervisor term is on the same cycle as the Senate seat so it's up or out for him. While Kruse has county-wide name ID in Lee (59% of the district, with Henry making up 33%), the county elects supervisors by districts. So he's only been a candidate in one-fifth of Lee County (basically the north rural part).