Wednesday, February 01, 2012

28 Senate Races Likely This Fall

UPDATE: Never mind, make that 26. Ward and Kibbie resigned on the last day, so Johnson and McCoy don't have to run. But the Hamerlinck-Hahn primary is happening...

All that District of The Day work and I still got one facet wrong: Apparently, a paired-up senator can announce a move or retirement, yet not let your district-mate off the hook and still force them to run for a two-year term. The Gazette gets it right:
So Senate President Jack Kibbie, D-Emmetsburg, who has announced his retirement, doesn’t plan to resign to let Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, off the re-election hook. Johnson will have to stand for election just two years after being re-elected, but in a heavily GOP district.

Sens. Pat Ward, R-West Des Moines, and Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, now are in the same district as a result of redistricting. Neither plans to resign. Ward has announced plans to run in a new Clive district but said she won’t resign, which will force McCoy to run for re-election in November.
These two races, which serve little purpose beyond screwing the other team (and both parties are guilty), bring our total to 28 Senate races out of 50 total seats: the 25 even number seats which are up anyway in a presidential year, these two, and no-incumbent Senate 49 in the Clinton area.

I'll use my error to reiterate a minor repair I'd make in the system. I'm make the 25 odd seats up in the zero year all two year terms, then have the entire Senate run in the redistricting year, half for two year terms, half for four. So each senate seat would get two four year terms and a two year term in a decade.

It looks like we'll have two senator vs. senator battles this year: Dem Mary Jo Wilhelm vs. the GOP's Merlin Bartz in District 26, and a GOP primary cage match in 46 between Jim Hahn and Shawn Hamerlinck.

I've still got a question mark by Hamerlinck so watch him today, which is the deadline for senators to declare residence. He lives right on the line with empty 49 and works in Clinton. But fellow GOPer Andrew Naeve (who lost by just 71 votes in 2010) called dibs on that seat even before it was clear if the seat would be on the 2012 ballot. Tod Bowman could have moved in to avoid a pairup with Tom Hancock, but Hancock retired and Bowman stayed where he was in Maquoketa.

So it might be easier for Hamerlinck to primary a non-incumbent than a fellow senator... or maybe he'll just Go Home.

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