Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Rozenboom May Challenge Rielly

Rozenboom May Challenge Rielly in Senate 40

The Oskaloosa News reports: "Mahaska County Supervisor Ken Rozenboom is considering a run for the Iowa Senate" against Democrat Tom Rielly in Senate District 40.

The GOP supervisor was just elected to his first term last year but says "I’m new to holding political office, I’m not new to politics. I’ve followed politics very closely all my life, and I’m in a time in my life I can consider some of these options."

Rozenboom cited Senate control as a key issue.
“I think we need to make every effort to do our part to change that balance of power. I’m frustrated that Mike Gronstal and other Senate Democrats basically blocked a lot of legislation, they blocked debate. In our system of government, we should be able to at least debate the issue, and some of these were simply locked out of debate. I think we have an opportunity to change that here locally.”
Rielly is probably number two on the GOP's target list, behind only Gronstal, and based on the numbers has the toughest seat for Democrats to defend. He knocked off an incumbent in 2008 on tough turf but he goes from having a registration deficit of just under 1000 to a deep-red GOP advantage of nearly 5,000, and a lot of new territory. The district includes all of Mahaska, Monroe and Appanoose counties, and the corner of Marion that includes Pella. It also has rural Wapello County north and west of Ottumwa, but none of that Democratic city.

Rozenboom may not be the only Republican looking at this seat. The rumor mill has long said that Rep. Betty De Boef is also interested. De Boef is paired up in a Washington-Keokuk county seat with Rep. Jarad Klein and has said she won't run against Klein in a primary. De Boef would have to move into the Senate district, but she lived in Mahaska when first elected in 2000.

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