Saturday, March 17, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 37, Iowa House District 73 & 74

Senate District 37
Registration: D 16602, R 11168, N 15371, total 43197, D +5434
Incumbent: Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville; holdover seat

A new point on the compass for Bob Dvorsky. He was first elected to the House in 1986 in a seat that went west to Iowa County. When he went to the Senate in a hurry-up February 1994 mid-session special (infamous for an election day blizzard) he got a half-Johnson, half Linn district. The Linn part shrank in 2001, moving out of Cedar Rapids and becoming about a 75% Johnson seat, but the basic configuration remained.

Dvorsky's new seat goes east, picking up all of Cedar County and the city of Wilton in Muscatine County, all of which had been in Muscatine Republican Jim Hahn's territory.

But the core has always been Coralville. Within Johnson, Dvorsky sheds ground to the west this decade: Tiffin, North Liberty, Oxford, Swisher, Shueyville. He keeps Coralville, Solon, and Penn Township (the rural subdivisions north of Iowa City) and the northeast corner of the county. He also adds one precinct on the west side of Iowa City (for my locals: Iowa City 9).

Though this remains maybe a 60% Johnson County district, the addition of swingy Cedar and heavily Republican Wilton costs Dvorsky nearly 2,500 registered Democrats. But with a still solid margin he can afford it. Republicans last bothered opposing Dvorsky in 2002; he beat a Libertarian in 2010 and holds over till 2014.

Campaign finance reports: Committee to Elect Robert E. Dvorsky

House District 73
Registration: D 6836, R 6204, N 8220, total 21275, D +632
Open seat; Jeff Kaufmann, R-Wilton, retiring. Contested Democratic primary.

The rumor mill had buzzed for weeks and seven days before filing deadline the announcement hit: Kaufmann was stepping down and running for a job back home on the Cedar County Board of Supervisors.

County party conventions were the next day and two Kaufmanns made the rounds as son Bobby Kaufmann, 26, announced his candidacy. I dunno, but if I were 26 and running for a seat to replace my dad after his last second retirement, I would have filed as Robert or Bob, not "Bobby." In any case, Kaufmann the Younger has a clear primary field.

Democrats were geared up for this race even before Kaufmann the Elder left. The old seat was almost dead-even with a Democratic registration edge of 29 as of Map Day. The new seat leans Democratic. It keeps all of Cedar County and the GOP stronghold of Wilton, but loses the rest of the northern tier of Muscatine County: West Liberty, Atalissa and Moscow. Instead it has a much larger portion of the People's Republic: Solon and four surrounding townships, plus Scott Township, dominated by trailer courts across the road from the Iowa City limits.

David Johnson of West Branch announced early. It's his third try for the House. In 992 he ran as an independent against Dvorsky, and in 1994 he challenged Dick Myers in a primary, losing 80-20. He won a term on the West Branch city council in 2007.

The other Democrat is Solon school board member and former NCS executive Dick Schwab, who joined the race in February. Schwab has a high philanthropy profile in Johnson County and was the Press-Citizen's Person Of The Year in 2001. He's also well known for hosting weddings at his "Celebration Barn," which has put him at the center of several hot county zoning fights.

Campaign finance reports: Johnson for State House

House District 74
Registration: D 9766, R 4964, N 7151, total 21922, D +4802
Incumbent: Dave Jacoby, D-Coralville

Big growth means big changes in Dave Jacoby's lines, but District Draws Itself math means Coralville stays in one piece and dominates whatever House district it's in. Jacoby went from the city council to the House in the summer of 2003 when then minority leader Dick Myers retired. That special election, which Jacoby won with 71%, was the last time Republicans ran a candidate, and there isn't one yet this year. In fact, Jacoby's 2010 opponent Dustin Krutsinger actually left the GOP to run as a Libertarian, a sign of just how weak the GOP brand is in Johnson County. He didn't do much worse at 20%.

Last cycle, Jacoby had handled a bizarre labor-backed primary challenge (the opponent dropped out after the withdrawal deadline, then at the last minute hinted at dropping back in), winning 88% to 12%.

North Liberty grew so much that it has to be split from Coralville for the first time. Jacoby also gives up Tiffin and picks up one precinct on the west side of Iowa City. Jacoby's new district has 1000 fewer Democrats than the old, but that's more a function of shedding the excess population rather than changes in the strong Democratic edge.

Campaign finance reports: Jacoby for House

Original post 6/14/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

No comments: