Monday, February 24, 2014

Schaben First For Only Time on Day One

For what's likely to be the only time, Scott Schaben is in first place. The Also Running GOP Senate candidate was the first one in the door at Matt Schultz's office yesterday on Day One of filing for the June 3 primary. Bookmark this and you'll be as up to date as I am, though probably not as obsessive.

I'm pegging Schaben for fifth place in that race, ahead of book salesman Paul Lunde but behind the four main-chance contenders. His presence, though, could be significant: he soaks up a few percentage points and makes it harder for any of the Big Four to reach 35, increasing the odds of a convention.

Schaben was the only candidate above the state legislative level to file on Day One, with no one turning in papers for the statewide or congressional races, which earns him the lede for the day.

Two Republican early birds for the State Senate: Incumbent Roby Smith of Davenport in District 47 will likely face Democrat Maria Bribriesco, who lost a 2012 House race.

Michael Moore of Washington is one of three Republicans (along with Royce Phillips and Bob Anderson) announced in open Senate 39 where Sandy Greiner is retiring. The winner faces the winner of a likely Democratic primary where Kevin Kinney of rural Oxford is a likely favorite over Rich Gilmore of Washington. This is one of the must-win seats for Senate control, and as the son of Wisconsin teachers I can tell you how important that is.

So the rest of the action is on the House side:

Locally, Democrat David Johnson of West Branch (not to be confused with the Ocheyedan GOP Senator) is making his fourth run: he lost as an independent in 1992 and Democratic primaries in 1994 and 2012. He looks to be the only Democrat challenging GOP freshman Bobby Kaufmann.

Craig Johnson, head of the Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, is running on the GOP side in House 64. This seat was technically a Democratic gain for Bruce Bearinger of Oelwein last cycle. But the turf had changed a lot. Republican Dan Rasmussen retired at the last minute, and the GOP dropped the ball on candidate recruitment. This could split on both party and geographic lines.

HON executive Gary Carlson is first to file in the once-crowded House 91 Republican primary. Mark Lofgren is vacating the seat for a congressional race that will almost certainly end at the hands of Mariannette Miller-Meeks. At one point there were briefly four candidates, but Lofgren's daughter Emily quit days after Carlson's announcement, and Mark LeRette dropped out after losing his city council seat last fall. That leaves Carlson and Mark Cisneros; the winner faces Democrat John (We Got) Dabeet, who lost to Mark Lofgren last cycle.

Incumbents filing  Monday include Greg Heartsill, R-Chariton, seeking a second term in House 28. He has an announced primary challenger, Jon Van Wyk.

John Landon, R-Ankeny, is seeking his second term and first primary win in This Is Where Your District Went, known to people who don't read my blog as House 37. Landon finished third in a six way primary, with just 16.5%, when the district was new in 2012, but won the nomination 12 to 11 at a convention.

Other incumbents with less singular circumstances:

  • Dwayne Alons, R-Hull in District 4. Excitement in this race goes downhill from here in the most Republican seat in the state.
  • Tedd Gassman, R-Scarville, narrowly beat Democrat John Wittneben in District 7 for his first term last cycle.
  • Henry Rayhons, R-Garner, was a real survivor. He wound up keeping District 8 when he was TRIPLED up in redistricting with Stew Iverson and Linda Upmeyer, both better known and higher profile. Then he fended off a primary from a newcomer.
  • District 23 freshman Mark Costello, R-Imogene
  • The newest legislator, District 25's Stan Gustafson, R- California Cumming, elected just last month in a special to replace Julian Garrett, who moved up to the senate to replace Kent "My Support Can't Be Bought But It Can Be Rented" Sorenson.
  • Art Staed of Cedar Rapids is seeking a third total term in House 66: Won in 2006, lost to Renee Schulte in 2008, sat out `10, beat Schulte in `12 on improved turf.
  • Garwin Republican Dean Fisher won an open House 72 fairly easily in 2012 after the Democrats' preferred candidate couldn't get through the primary.
  • Larry Sheets, R-Moulton, is seeking a second term after beating Joe Judge of the Monroe County Judges in a close 2012 race when the seat was new.
  • And Monticello Republican Lee Hein, seeking a third term in House 96.

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