With the legislative session over, action is picking up in the 1st Congressional District Democratic primary. There’s a non-announcement from Black Hawk County Sen. Jeff Danielson, while Cedar Rapids city council member Monica Vernon goes from dipping a toe in the water to jumping in.
I made a lot of noise about wanting to see a woman in the race. But former senator Swati Dandekar, who risked Democratic Senate control when she resigned to take a big-dollar job from Terry Branstad, was not what I had in mind.
So Vernon is interesting. At the moment, and I’m not in the district, but I’d rank my choices 1) Vernon 2) Murphy 3) write in 4) cyanide capsule 5) sharp sticks in both eyes) 6) Dandekar.
There’s been a little grumbling, though, in Democratic circles about Vernon’s relatively recent (2009) party switch from R to D. That didn’t stop Democrats in 2002, though, from backing newly converted Bettendorf mayor Ann Hutchinson over lifelong Dem Dave Nagle. So not a disqualifier, but a question that'll get asked.
Murphy still has the inside track but not in a prohibitive way. With two Linn women and one Dubuque man in, there’s a void in Black Hawk County. Two-term state Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic would be an interesting candidate; the rumor mill said she was waiting on Danielson’s decision.
Or there’s always the possibility of another Dave Nagle comeback…