Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 27, Iowa House District 53 & 54

Senate District 27
Registration: D 12010, R 13821, N 17607, total 43458, R +1811
Incumbent: Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City; holdover seat

Fellow Democrat Mary Jo Wilhelm's gain is Ragan's loss. Ragan keeps Mason City, but her new turf goes south and west instead of north and east. She drops Floyd and Mitchell counties and gains Franklin, the northern part of Butler, and the western, Clear Lake half of Cerro Gordo.

Ragan won a hurry-up special during the 2002 session and her first full term that fall. The old district lines gave Ragan a 2500 Democrat voter registration edge. Under the new lines that turns into a deficit of 1800. With Tom Rielly's retirement this becomes the most Republican Senate seat held by a Democrat.

The only good news for Ragan is she was just re-elected two to one over a weak opponent in 2010, so she holds over till 2014.

Campaign finance reports: Ragan for Iowa Senate

House District 53
Registration: D 7429, R 5030, N 9380, total 21851, D +2399
Incumbent: Sharon Steckman, D-Mason City

The District Draws Itself: The ideal House district size is 1 percent of the state population. In the 1990s Mason City was just above that size, and got split down Highway 18 to dominate two districts. But in 2000 the population dropped to just 91 people less than the perfect size, and at that point the rules keep cities together and Mason City, exactly, WAS the district.

This decade, the seat adds a township on the north and three on the south plus the city of Rockwall, splitting Cerro Gordo into a vertically striped configuration. But that doesn't change things politically; incumbent Sharon Steckman keeps roughly the same Democratic edge.

This was probably the most Democratic district held by Republicans for most of the 2000s. The representatives for the two halves of town both got paired up in 2002 and both quit. Republican Roger Broers, then in his first term after years on the Board of Supervisors, was expected to run again, but stepped down for health reasons right before the deadline (by election day he had passed away).

Bill Schickel was the late-starting Republican. Democrats attempted to nudge their candidate aside to recruit a stronger candidate for the now-open seat... but the candidate wouldn't be nudged. So Schickel, in a mild upset, won the seat by about 500 votes. The Democrats made two more decent efforts, but were never able to knock him off.

Schickel stepped down in 2008, and is now keeping occupied on the Republican state central committee. As for the district, it finally turned Democratic. Steckman (whose husband had been Schickel's opponent two years earlier) won comfortably. No Republican has filed this year.

Campaign finance reports: Citizens for Sharon Steckman

House District 54
Registration: D 4581, R 8791, N 8227, total 21607, R +4210
Incumbent: Linda Upmeyer, R-Clear Lake

In addition to her new house at the lake, Upmeyer escapes the triple-up with Stu Iverson and Henry Rayhons, gets nearly 2000 more Republicans. Upmeyer and the district move out of Hancock County to keep western Cerro Gordo, including Clear Lake, and all of Franklin County. The new turf adds northern Butler County from Pat Grassley's district.

With no Democratic opponent,  Upmeyer can worry less about re-election and more about why her presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, is tanking.

Campaign finance reports: Upmeyer for House

Original post 5/31/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

No comments: