Saturday, February 11, 2012

Two GOP House Announcements

Just two weeks now till filing starts for legislative candidates. Ye Olde Deeth Blog will do a District Of The Day update of some sort soon after the March 16 filing deadline, but for now, two more announcements on the House GOP side:

  • Johnson County folks will recognize the name Maison Bleam, the former UI student government leader who made a brief stab at the Johnson County Board of Supervisors during the 2009 appointment process. He's now making the Back Home run in House District 10. That seat already has TWO incumbents: five-termer Dave Tjepkes is stepping down and freshman Tom Shaw is running.
    "(Bleam) said that compared to Shaw he is a ''different style of principled constitutional conservative".'' His different style, he said, is a result of his state, national and international experience...
    That's a polite way of saying that Shaw has aligned himself with the tea partiest of the tea partiest during his first term.

    Bleam is also playing the age card; it's interesting to me that conservatives, at this level of office, have generally been more willing to vote for young people and that they generally do a far better job of subsidizing their young ones -- check those resume bullet points on Bleam -- than my team. And it's places like this (Pocahontas, Humboldt, and Calhoun counties, with part of Kossuth) that will elect the recent grad, as opposed to youthful "progressive" Iowa City. (Yeah, still mad Raj Patel lost.)

    Still, this race seems like a heavy lift given Shaw's proven strength as a candidate in two 2010 races, a tough primary and a general election gain of a "Democratic" open seat (OK, Delores Mertz barely counts).

  • In Marshalltown, GOP farmer and ex-school board member Allen Burt is in the House 71 race against the man who loads my mailbox daily with false Google News alerts on his name, Democrat Mark Smith.

    (And don't even get me started on the two David Johnsons... speaking of which, Democratic activists aren't exactly thrilled about the West Branch Johnson's chances against the GOP's Jeff Kaufmann in now-D leaning House 73, is anyone else going to get in?)

    The city of Marshalltown is 90% of this seat. Smith has beaten the GOP's Jane Jech twice in a row; by a lot in 2008 and by a little in 2010. Jech has migrated to the Senate race instead, where she's an underdog to former senator Larry McKibben for the right to take on Democrat Steve Sodders this fall.
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