Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 2, Iowa House District 3 & 4

Senate District 2
Registration: D 5581, R 23961, N 10958, total 40516, R +18380
Incumbent: Randy Feenstra, R-Hull

This is where Republicans run up the score, and no Democrats filed for any of these seats. Take Sioux County out of the state, and John Kerry wins a 98-county Iowa in 2004. Sioux County dominates new District 2, the most Republican seat in the state, much as it dominated the old seat.

Unbelievably, Feenstra's old district was even MORE Republican. He loses Lyon and northern Plymouth, and instead gets O'Brien and Cherokee, plus the eastern part of Plymouth (which he didn't have before).

This area was the scene of an epic, general election level turnout primary in 2004 as relative moderate Dave Mulder knocked off the state's leading queer-baiter of the era, Ken Veenstra. Mulder stepped down after one term, semi-voluntarily (another epic primary was likely), and Feenstra moved from the county courthouse to the Senate in 2008 with no opponent in the primary OR the general. Don't be surprised if it happens again. There's something to be said for a 99 county strategy... but there's also something to be said for not stirring up a safe local incumbent and boosting turnout.

Randy Feenstra Iowa Senate Committee finance reports

House District 3
Registration: D 4037, R 10467, N 7633, total 22146, R +6430
Incumbent: Dan Huseman, R-Aurelia (Royd Chambers, R-Sheldon, retiring)

Redistricting is a greater threat to a GOP incumbent up here than any mere Democrat, and Chambers' retirement is the most excitement this race will see. My initial bet was that it would be Huseman, who suffered a heart attack and missed the end of the 2011 session, who could step down, but I'm apparently not the world's expert on internal GOP politics in northwest Iowa.

New House 3 is basically Chambers' O'Brien County (population 14,398) and Huseman's Cherokee (12,072), with a few townships in eastern Sioux and Plymouth thrown in. Huseman's old district 53 went south and east to the Sioux City limits and included southern and eastern Plymouth. He was held to 58% by a Democrat in 2008, but went unopposed last cycle.

Daniel A. Huseman Election Committee finance reports

House District 4
Registration: D 1544, R 13494, N 3325, total 18370, R +11950; the number one GOP House seat
Incumbent: Dwayne Alons, R-Hull

Alons is one of the only senior House Republicans who was passed over for a committee chair in 2011. His God, gays and guns focus is a bit much even for his own party leadership. But they like it back home: Alons won with 82% over a Some Dude Democrat in 2008, probably the state's biggest Democrat vs. Republican margin, and that earned him a walkover in 2010.

Old District 4 covered the northern two-thirds of Sioux and went north into Lyon County. The new seat is entirely in Sioux and adds Orange City, which used to be in Chuck Soderberg's old district 3. The exclusion of Lyon makes this seat a teeny bit less red. Yes, it used to be even MORE Republican.

Dwayne Alons for Representative Committee finance reports

Original post 4/26/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

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