Sunday, August 19, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 42, Iowa House District 83 & 84

Senate District 42
Registration: D 13344, R 10936, N 13501, total 37812, D +2408
Open seat; Gene Fraise, D-Ft. Madison retiring.

Gene Fraise, who has held some variation of this seat since 1986, is stepping down as he turns 80, prompting primaries in both parties.

Lee County makes up 59% of this district, with Henry making up 33% and the rest in the the leftovers of Washington and Jefferson. So basically the same seat Fraise had adjusted for population; not much you can change about lines when you're in a corner of the state. The messing at the margins shaves about 500 Democrats off the party registration edge.

Fort Madison Mayor Steve Ireland was the early Democratic favorite, but he dropped out shortly before his death from cancer in March. His campaign chair Donna Amandus ran, but finished second in the primary behind labor activist Rich Taylor of Mt. Pleasant, 50-35%. Third candidate Bob Morawitz polled 15%.

The leading Republican, Lee County Supervisor Larry Kruse, announced before Fraise's retirement was official. He easily won his primary against former congressional candidate Lee Harder, 71-29%.

Independent Michael Garmoe announced his candidacy early in the year but has been way below the radar.

Party ID favors Taylor; each candidate has a base in the opposite party's county, but Lee County is more Democratic than Henry County is Republican.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Kruse for Senate, Rich Taylor Campaign Fund Kruse has $5,402.17 on hand. Taylor trails with $3,193.08, but he was spending on a tougher primary.

House District 83
Registration: D 8705, R 3455, N 6445, total 18627, D +5250
Incumbent: Jerry Kearns, D-Keokuk

Kearns picked up the Keokuk-Ft. Madison seat in 2008 when Phil Wise retired. He won with a clear majority in a three way primary, then won the general with 60%. He then beat a late-starting tea-oriented Republican handily in 2010.

This year's Republican, Jim Steffen, started late too. He tried to get nominated as a primary write-in, but that's harder than it would seem, so Republicans had a convention. He has the toughest turf of any Republican on the ballot: the number four Democratic seat.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Steffen for House, Kearns for State Representative Committee Kaarns has just $2,982.92 on hand, not much for an incumbent. But Steffen is at just $475.

House District 84
Registration: D 4639, R 7481, N 7056, total 19185, R +2842
Incumbent: Dave Heaton, R-Mt. Pleasant

Democrats have made a couple feints at serious runs since Heaton went to the House in 1994, but haven't come close. The original Heaton seat back in the 90s paired the cities of Washington and Mt. Pleasant. It shifted to its current configuration, with Henry intact and northern rural Lee added, in 2001. The seemingly small changes this decade boost Heaton's partisan edge by about 800 registered Republicans.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Citizens for Heaton

Senate District 42, House District 83 & 84: District of the Day 1 - 6/21/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/17/2012

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