Friday, January 06, 2012

Democrat Wittneben Draws Two GOP Rivals

A Republican primary looks likely in House District 7 in notth central Iowa. The area was one of the few bright spots for Democrats in 2010. Incumbent Democrat Marcy Frevert stepped down and Democrat John Wittneben held the seat by just 32 votes.

Wittneben looks set for another tough one this year. The new district loses 1200 Democrats to become a swing seat, with a Democratic registration edge of just 121 on Map Day (probably a deficit post-caucus). Wittneben loses the Frevert base of Palo Alto County but keeps his own Emmet County base, all of Winnebago County, and rural north Kossuth. The seat also adds the city of Algona.

At least two Republicans see an opportunity and spoke up on caucus night. Ted Gassman has been Winnebago County GOP chair and a school board member. Mark Frakes of Forest City is a West Point grad and former Army helicopter pilot; if he wins maybe he'll start a Chopper Coalition with Guy Vander Linden.

As the small town papers trickle in with their local caucus stories, I'm getting more and more of this kind of stuff in my in box, from Google News alerts and from readers. Look for the usual full coverage of the filing deadlines this March and some updates in the District of the Day department once the caucus registrations and the detail work of reprecincting are done and we can get updated registration numbers.

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