Sunday, August 19, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 49, Iowa House District 97 & 98

Senate District 49
Registration: D 13032, R 10141, N 16250, total 39446, D +2891
No Incumbent; two year term.
Odd-numbered seats normally run on the gubernatorial cycle, but this is the only odd number seat with no incumbent in residence on Map Day, so it goes on the ballot for a two year term.

Democrat Tod Bowman beat Republican Andrew Naeve by just 70 votes in 2010 in old Senate 13. That seat included the city of Clinton and northern Clinton County. It went north to pull in all of Jackson County, where Bowman lives in Maquoketa. It also had a small piece of Dubuque County, up to the south city limits.

The new district turns around and faces south. Clinton County is whole, and northern Scott County is included (including LeClaire, Princeton. McCausland and Park View). Thus a district that was maybe half Clinton County is now about 3/4, and a district that had a Democratic edge of 7,500 registered voters sees that lead cut in half.

Bowman could have moved in and held over. But he wanted to stay with Jackson County. After what seemed like forever, his district-mate, Democrat Tom Hancock, retired, leaving this seat empty. (Bowman still gets to hold over in Senate 29.)

Naeve announced before the Bowman-Hancock pair had been resolved -- thus, before we even knew if the seat would be on the ballot. In 2010, he won the Clinton County part of the district by about 500 votes, as Bowman rolled up his winning margin in Jackson.

Once Bowman made his decision, two Democratic women joined the race: Rita Hart of Wheatland, a community volunteer and retired teacher, beat Clinton attorney Dorothy O'Brien, 53-47%.

All things being equal, Hart would be favored, but Naeve made it extremely close against Bowman in a much bluer version of this seat.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Rita R. Hart for State Senate, Naeve for State Senate Naeve leads with $27,072.52  in the bank. Hart spent down to win the primary and raised $5,727 after; she had $4,386.62 cash on hand.

House District 97
Registration: D 5984, R 6032, N 8653, total 20682, R +48
Incumbent: Steve Olson, R-DeWitt

Steve Olson has survived ten years in swing territory. He got a relatively close 56-44 race in 2008, but then went unopposed in 2010. This year, the seat even closer. Democrats recruited a post-primary convention nominee, retired ALCOA worker Ted Whisler of LeClaire.

In Clinton County, Olson keeps Camanche, DeWitt and everything west. The changes are marginal in Scott as Olson swaps a couple Bettendorf-bordering townships. He keeps Le Claire, Princeton, and most of the Wapsi River border.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Steve Olson for State Representative, Ted Whisler for District 97 Just in case, Olson took in a whopping $26,325.00 in June and July, and has $31,626.54 on hand. He shouldn't worry: with a late start, Whisler only has $623.10.

House District 98
Registration: D 7048, R 4109, N 7597, total 18764, D +2939
Incumbent: Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton, no Republican candidate

Since we're in The District Draws Itself range (city of Clinton population=88% of ideal district size) there's little change in Wolfe's lines or party margin. She took over in 2010 when Democrat Polly Bukta. Republicans had the best circumstances they could get: an open seat, a good cycle, and a credible candidate in former school board member David Rose. But Rose fell 424 votes short, and the Republicans gave Wolfe a bye this year.

Independent candidate Carolyn Grimes is a library trustee and an ex-Republican.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Mary Wolfe Campaign Grimes had no report.

Senate District 49, House District 97 & 98: District of the Day 1 - 6/30/2011| District of the Day 2 - 3/17/2012

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