Wednesday, May 16, 2012

famIly leader Endorses

Your District of the Day obsessive is still out here, quietly monitoring the action in all those GOP legislative primary challenges and ignoring little stuff like Mitt Romney in Des Moines and Obama backing marriage equality.

The whole season got delayed by the elongated legislative session, but the release of a list by the famI leader himself, BVP, is as good an excuse as any to round up the random stuff.

Let's start with BVP's endorsements. Only one of these, Steve Sodder's Senate 36, is Democratic-held.

Dennis Guth of Klemme, Senate District 4: Guth is clearly the righty against Branstad-recruited, one-year ex-senator Jim "Back In" Black.

Jeff Mullen of Clive, Senate District 22: No surprise at all here, as BVP picks the social conservative minister over semi-incumbent Pat Ward. Liberty Iowa PAC also backed Mullen last week. West Des Moines Patch had a good look at the race recently.

Jane Jech of Marshalltown, Senate District 36: VERY interesting that famIly leader emphasizes this race, pitting two-time House loser Jech against the man who held this seat four years ago, Larry McKibben (who Branstad endorsed yesterday). Tells me that this is a direction of the party thing as much as anything.

Over on the House side:

Rep. Tom Shaw of Laurens, House District 10. Here's one where the incumbent is on the right. Shaw has a from the center challenge from recent UI grad Maison Bleam. Liberty Iowa Pac weighed in for Shaw, too, and Iowa Gun Owners PAC called Bleam a "socialist sounding former staff member of the British Parliament."

 Rep. Cecil Dolecheck of Mount Ayr, House District 24. Primary challenger Jane Jensen doesn't have a high profile. Favorite quote from this KMA piece: " Jensen tells KMA News she's running for the legislature because she's angry with the federal government."

Joan Acela of Winterset, House District 25: The then-Madison County supervisor came in second to Julian Garrett of Indianola when the seat was open last cycle, in a race that split on county lines.

Rep. Joel Fry of Osceola, House District 27 (Challenger James Demichelis Jr., of Chariton) and Rep. Kevin Koester of Ankeny, House District 38 (Challenger is Brett Nelson of Saylor Township) Odd choices as both challengers have Some Dude profiles.

Rep. Jarad Klein of Keota, House District 78: BVP backs freshman Klein, a Sandy Greiner protege, over tea-partyish Priscilla Marlar of Wayland.

Other observations over the week:

Other than Dogs Against Annette Sweeney, her debate last night with Grandson Grassley offered few differences. I live in House District 50, I want to stay in the Legislature, I don't want to move.

Iowa Gun Owners PAC is targeting freshman Republican Jeff Smith in House District 1, saying Smith "BROKE HIS PLEDGE to support Constitutional Carry and voted with anti-gun Democrats to KILL the bill." Challenger Kevin Wolfswinkel "WILL be a vote we can count on in the General Assembly." Wolfswinkel is hosting a Friday event with Sen. Kent Sorenson, Rep. Kim the one term wonder Pearson and Shaw, who must not be too worried about his own primary if he has time for this. All Wolfswinkel needs is Glen Massie to complete the set.

Ruh-roh: Mark Segebart, a Crawford County supervisor, is hatin' Teh Gay in Senate 6, under a classic Doug Burns headline "Scooby-Doo can turn your kid gay."

Bret Hayworth looks at dueling endorsements in Sioux City based House District 13. This was the old Chris Rants seat, and Rants weighed in for his successor, Ron Jorgensen. Politically active minister Cary Gordon is backing the challenger, Matthew Ung. Gordon even manages to work in a dig at Thaddeus McCotter (Rants was the only visible McCotter supporter in the state). Surprised not to see this race on the famIly leader list.

In the House 81 GOP primary in Ottumwa for the right to lose to Democrat Mary Gaskill, Rick McClure dissed opponent Blake Smith at a Tea Party forum over his age: “Frankly – no offense to my opponent — but I won’t ever give the keys to my hot rod to a 22-year-old.” No offense indeed, Rick; maybe you should run for the Iowa City council.

A Republican is making a write in effort in Lee County's solidly blue House 83, held by Democrat Jerry Kearns. Why Jim Steffen is trying a write-in, rather than the much easier approach of a party convention, is unclear.

Best wishes to Democrat Mike McRae, who ended his campaign in House 42 after injuries in an accident. While he recovers, Democrats will need a new challenger for West Des Moines Republican Peter Cownie.

And other than another fundraising letter last week from Dave Loebsack emphasizing Joe Seng's anti-choice record, I've seen no evidence at all of a Seng campaign. 20 days out, and not even a campaign website. I've got my Loebsack yard sign up anyway.

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