Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 12, Iowa House District 23 & 24

Senate District 12
Registration: D 8794, R 19068, N 14892, total 42782, R +10274
Incumbent: Joni Ernst, R-Red Oak

Ernst, who took over in the January 2011 special election, to replace Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, still has a very Republican district made of whole small counties. A lot of those counties change, but luckily for Ernst the new counties are all solidly Republican. She trades with Hubert Houser, getting Mills, Fremont and Page in exchange for Adams, Union and a first round draft choice. Ernst keeps Taylor, Ringgold, and her home base of Montgomery. Clarke and Decatur move east. So Ernst has six counties instead of seven.

The district's shift west (out of the base of Reynolds' predecessor Jeff Angelo) nets Ernst an extra 5000 Republicans, making this the second most Republican in the state behind Randy Feenstra and moving it into don't even bother territory. Democrats didn't file in this race or either of the House seats.

Campaign finance reports: Ernst for State Senate

House District 23
Registration: D 4556, R 10150, N 7534, total 22254, R +5594
No incumbent

If you look at the map, this district essentially flips old District 97 upside down, losing Page County and adding most of Montgomery including Red Oak. It keeps all of Fremont and expands to take in all of Mills (the old lines only had most of Mills). But if you look at the population figures, it essentially turns the Page County seat into the Mills County seat, reflecting exurban growth in Mills. That's the only part of this corner of Iowa that's growing at all; Page lost 1000 people last census. The flip puts the retiring Richard Anderson outside the new lines. It also makes it even more Republican.

Raymond Chase of Glenwood will face off with Imogene farmer Mark Costello in a probably decisive GOP primary.

House District 24
Registration: D 4238, R 8918, N 7358, total 20528, R +4680
Incumbent: Cecil Dolecheck, R-Mt. Ayr (Richard Anderson, R-Clarinda, retiring) Primary challenge

We thought the excitement here was over with Anderson's retirement, but Dolecheck drew a primary challenge from restaurant owner Jane Jensen of Clarinda. This district is more compact than Dolecheck's old one. He was first elected in 1996 out of a  Ringgold-Decatur-Union district. In the 2000s he had what looks like the largest geographic old House district, four whole counties: Montgomery, Taylor, Adams, and Ringgold, plus a corner of Union. He won with 60% in 2008 and was unopposed in 2010. The seat should be safe in the fall for either Republican.

Campaign finance reports: Dolecheck for Representative

Original post 5/10/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

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