Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 14, Iowa House District 27 & 28

Senate District 14
Registration: D 12402, R 13845, N 15503, total 41776, R +1443
Open Seat; Paul McKinley, R-Chariton, retiring. Contested primaries in both parties.

Sure, the leadership challenge ahead of the anticipated loss in the Marion special senate election probably played the biggest role in Paul McKinley's retirement. But it's worth noting that on Map Day, he went from a 3844 Republican registration edge to a much more swingy 622. Caucus activity has boosted Republican rolls, but it's still potentially competitive.

The new seat includes four whole counties - Clarke, Lucas, Decatur and Wayne - plus most of Mahaska, with the exception of Pella. It also has a chunk of southern Jasper County around Monroe and adds a little more to that piece: Sully, Reasnor, Lynnville, and all the way up to the Newton city limits. Bleeding Heartland has a good look at the district.

Wayne County supervisor Amy Sinclair was first to announce on the Republican side. Wayne is the smallest county in the district, so it looks like Steven Everly of Knoxville sees an opportunity too. Everly works for a lighting company and his biggest internet footprint is a lawsuit the company filed against the Knoxville school district. Stephanie Jones of Knoxville was the third Republican to file. Some Dude Larry Steele had also announced, but moved to Des Moines and filed in House 36 instead.

Democrat Dick Schrad, the former Knoxville City Manager, has a primary with James Demichelis, who won 33% in a 2008 House race.

Only Sinclair filed a January 19 campaign finance report and she had just $630 on hand.

House District 27
Registration: D 5963, R 6687, N 7602, total 20269, R +724
Incumbent: Joel Fry, R-Osceola; primary challenge

One of 2010's upsets, Fry knocked off Democrat Mike Reasoner with a solid 57% win. Reasoner was from Creston and the old lines included most of Union County. The new district removes all of Union and keeps Decatur and Fry's home County, Clarke. It adds Wayne County and most of Lucas County including Chariton.

In addition to getting geographically bigger, Fry's seat gets a little closer partisan split. He lost about 400 Republicans with redistricting. Reasoner managed to hang on for four terms despite the GOP edge.

Primary challenger James Demichelis, Jr. of Chariton is not to be confused with the Democrat in the Senate race. Father and son Some Dudes?

Campaign finance reports: Fry for Iowa House

House District 28
Registration: D 6439, R 7158, N 7901, total 21507, R +719
Open Seat; Rich Arnold, R-Russell, retiring. Contested Republican primary

The new map changes the lines substantially. Lucas County gets split for the first time since Iowa started Clean Redistricting (TM) in 1981, and with Chariton going west to Fry's district, this seat has the smaller, eastern part. The chunk of Marion County expands, to take in Knoxville and almost the whole county (but not Pella), and adds part of southern Jasper.

Arnold was first elected in 1994 and won with 67% in both 2008 and 2010. But the changes cost the seat about 1000 Republicans and turn a good GOP district into a swing seat.

Democrat Megan Suhr was first to announce. Republican Greg Heartsill, a "homeschool(er) with nine children," looks to be the Republican frontrunner. Heartsill outraised Christian bookstore owner Len Gosseling by several orders of magnitude.

Campaign finance reports: Len Gosselink for State Representative, Heartsill for Iowa

Original post 5/12/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old SenateHouse

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