Mullen to Challenge Ward in Senate 22
Senator Pat Ward isn't going to get away with her move into Senate District 22 without a fight. Christianist megachurch pastor Jeff Mullen has announced a primary... well, kind of a challenge.
Ward found herself paired up in redistricting with Democrat Matt McCoy in a strong Democratic district, and announced on Map Day afternoon (March 31) that she was moving west into this friendlier (R+ 3389) turf.
But the right wasn't satisfied with Ward's relatively moderate record. (Bleeding Heartland has an excellent overview.) At one point it was rumored that radio host Steve Deace, who lives just blocks outside the lines, was interested.
Instead the right seems to be going with Mullen, of Point of Grace Church in Waukee. This is a political parish: Michele Bachman stopped by last month, and Mullen followed up with a gay-bashing sermon.
This is a new district both in the political sense and in the just constructed, no big old trees in the yard sense. Waukee grew from just over 5,000 people in the 2000 census to nearly 14,000 in 2010. Ward keeps Clive, Windsor Heights and the Dallas County piece of West Des Moines.
Amidst all this tea and cat fud on the GOP side, Democrat Desmund Adams waits. This is the kind of seat that should be solid for the Republicans but can turn blue with the right Democrat, the right climate aand the wrong Republican.