Sunday, August 19, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 38, Iowa House District 75 & 76

Senate District 38
Registration: D 10963, R 12549, N 16512, total 40051, R +1586
Incumbent: Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone

Clean, easy to comprehend lines in Senate 38: Benton, Iowa, Poweshiek. Three whole counties. That's a big move south for Benton-based Senate freshman Tim Kapucian. The old district had just a bit of Iowa then went west and north to take in most of Tama and all of Grundy.

Benton is still the biggest county in the district, and Kapucian won his home county by 1000 in a 53% to 47% 2008 win when Republican John Putney retired. And dropping Tama helps, as Democrat Randy Braden carried that county. But Kapucian rolled up the score in Grundy, and the new lines give him a dead-even district. Under the old lines, the GOP had a 2,500 registration edge. And this seat votes on the presidential cycle, which means maximized student turnout in Grinnell.

Democrat Shelley Parbs of Urbana easily won a three way primary with 58%, with Nick Volk at 23% and LaForest Sherman at 18.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Kapucian for State Senate, Parbs for IA Senate Clearly this one is high on the target list for both sides. Kapucian has the cash on hand lead with $41,258.67, and raised $11,525 in the post-primary filing period, $5800 from various PACs. But Parbs leads in recent fundraising with $16,305, including $12,450 from mainly labor PACs. My bet is a lot of that was deferred till after the primary. She has $15,041.61 in the bank.

House District 75
Registration: D 5469, R 5986, N 8591, total 20058, R +517
Incumbent: Dawn Pettengill, R-Mt. Auburn

Grudge match: Pettingill irked Democrats when she was one, defecting on key votes. Then on the last day of the 2007 session she defected all the way across the aisle to the other party. But she won with 55% in 2008, down just two points from her percentage as a Democrat in 2006. She then went unopposed in 2010 in one of the Democrats' more painful recruiting failures.

They didn't let that happen again, as small-business owner Sandra Cronbaugh of Marengo is running. The swing seat numbers, and the hard feelings, are going to keep this seat on the Democratic target list.

But the turf is familiar, as Pettengill keeps her entire old district. This is kind of a District Draws Itself thing; Benton County's population is 85% of an ideal House District and the county stays whole; the piece of Iowa County grows by a township.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Pettengill for Iowans, Cronbaugh for House Cronvaugh raised just over %5000 in the post-primary period and has $4,577.28 on hand. Pettingil has $2,202 on hand, remarkably low for an incumbent.

House District 76
Registration: D 5494, R 6563, N 7921, total 19993, R +1069
No Incumbent

While the changes in Pettengill's district are trivial, this seat is completely reconfigured, combining cores of two different old districts.

Eastern Poweshiek County and most of Iowa County (plus the leftovers of southeast Tama County) were in old House 76, represented by Keokuk County based Betty DeBoef. Old 75 had most of the population of Poweshiek: Grinnell and Montezuma. That was a hot swing seat for multiple cycles. The 2010 wave swept out Democrat Eric Palmer and replaced him with Guy Vander Linden.

Palmer and Vander Linden are both Oskaloosa-based, but Mahaska County isn't part of this turf. About 60% of the seat is a complete Poweshiek County, and about 40% is the bigger part of Iowa County: Williamsburg, North English, Victor, most of the Amanas. The new lines place it near the middle of the pack: #61 most Democratic/#40 most Republican.

Democrats united early behind Grinnell city council member Rachel Bly, who won her first term in 2009. Business owner David Maxwell easily beat county supervisor Larry Wilson in the Republican primary, 67-33%.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Friends for Rachel Bly, MAXWELL FOR STATE HOUSE Maxwell has a slim money lead with $12,657.41 on hand, but he was spending on a primary. Bly had $11,072.35 in the bank.

Senate District 38, House District 75 & 76: District of the Day 1 - 6/15/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/17/2012

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