Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Sedlacek Challenging Sands in House 88

Sedlacek Challenging Sands in House 88

The cat was let out of the bag a little early at Monday's Iowa City Labor Day Picnic, as Sara Sedlacek of West Liberty pre-announced she'll be challenging Rep. Tom Sands (R-Wapello) in House 88.

"It's not official yet but the press release has been sent so it's out of my hands," joked Sedlacek, a West Liberty Democrat who works as assistant to the Director at Backyard Abundance and as a grant writer for Johnson County.

Sedlacek is a veteran of several Iowa campaigns, including Culver/Judge and State Rep. John Wittneben, who she also served as clerk.

The new map makes this seat even more like the one I ran in and lost in 1996. It includes most of western Muscatine County (except Wilton, which I had) and all of Louisa. There's none of Johnson except a border, but rural Des Moines County takes its place. It's a very, very close district, with an April Democratic registration edge of just 49 voters.

House 88 is also the most Hispanic district in the state. This census both West Liberty and Conesville reported Hispanic majorities in the census, with Columbus Junction just short at 48%. (I checked her Espanol at the picnic and it's muy bien.) Of course, the true key to victory in this district is the all-important endorsement of Danville mayor Roger Doofenshmirtz.

Democrats have taken a few shots at Sands since his first win in 2002. The toughest challenge was in 2008, when former Columbus City mayor Frank Best held him to just 53%. Despite that, Sands went unopposed in 2010.

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