Muscatine firefighter and paramedic Chris Brase, 49, will seek the Democratic nomination for Senate District 46 next spring.Courtney's from the safe adjacent district to the south so he's likely to help out a lot.
If he wins the primary on June 5 Brase will face one of two incumbent Republican senators, Jim Hahn of Muscatine or Shawn Hamerlinck of Dixon. Both GOP senators reside within the boundaries of the newly redrawn district.
Brase said he’s received encouragement to run from other Democrats, including Sen. Tom Courtney, D-Burlington. He also has the support of many of his fellow firefighters.
The district is exactly half Muscatine County, half Scott. It pairs long time legislator Jim Hahn of Muscatine and freshman Shawn Hamerlinck, who was on the Davenport city council when elected in 2008, but has moved to Dixon. The general Map Day assumption was that Hahn, who'll be 76 on Election Day 2012, would retire. But he's announced. The rumor mill is now saying that Hamerlinck, who's had a job transition, may just go home.
Whoever Brase faces, it'll be in a swing seat (D + 461 registration in April). Muscatine had been trending Democratic in the 2000s decate, but the house seat flipped back to the GOP last year.