Saturday, August 18, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 31, Iowa House District 61 & 62

Senate District 31
Registration: D 14687, R 6331, N 12542, total 33574, D +8356
Incumbent: Bill Dotzler, D-Waterloo; holdover seat

An excellent Democratic district gets even better with minor line changes. Dotzler keeps all of Waterloo northeast of the river and a similar chunk of the southeast, along with Elk Run Heights, Evansdale and Raymond. The changes are at the edges and are a bigger deal on the map than on the demographics. He holds over in the second most Democratic district till 2014.

House District 61
Registration: D 6392, R 3959, N 6484, total 16842, D +2433
Incumbent: Anesa Kajtazovic, D-Waterloo

Kajtazovic is a good bet to be the first incumbent re-elected here since Democrat Don Shoultz in 2004. He lost to former TV anchor Tami Wiencek in 2006, who in turn lost in the Obama wave to Kerry Burt, who promptly self-destructed.

Kajtazovic was the only Democrat with the nerve to step up and actually challenge Burt, who dropped out after the withdrawal deadline. She beat former Waterloo mayor John Rooff with 59% to immediately earn two lines in the record books: first Bosnian-Iowan in the Legislature and at age 24 the youngest female legislator in state history.

Tea partyish Lyn Tackett lost the 2010 Republican primary to Rooff, and is making a second run.

Kajtazovic keeps roughly the same chunk of southeast Waterloo. The changes help the district's Democratic margin by about 350 registered voters.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Tackett Together, Anesa Kajtazovic for Iowa House Kajtazovic has a solid incumbent $15,548.30 bank account. Tackett has just $699.28 on hand.

House District 62
Registration: D 8295, R 2372, N 6058, total 16732, D +5923
Incumbent: Deborah Berry, D-Waterloo

Berry hasn't had a tough race since her first primary in 2002. No wonder, as Waterloo northeast of the Cedar River is the number two Democratic House district. A 2006 opponent dropped out, then Berry won an easy three to one 2008 primary win against a power plant opponent. No opposition at all in 2010.

Chad Folken is challenging as an independent this year, though he donated $100 to the Black Hawk County GOP as recently as May. Maybe he figures the GOP label is a negative in this seat. I've seen that dynamic here in the People's Republic of Johnson County (home of the number one and three Democratic districts). But when you file as an independent, you give up the Republican straight ticket votes, which even in a district like this add up to something. As an independent, Folken will have to earn each and every vote on his own, and a GOP straight ticket vote will simply skip the race.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Berry for Iowa House of Representatives

Senate District 31, House District 61 & 62: District of the Day 1 - 6/06/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/16/2012

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