Monday, August 18, 2014

New Independent Whaaat?

Well this came out of nowhere Friday: Another party pops up with a slate of multiple candidates for the state level offices. The label "New Independent Party Iowa" is new, but the face is familiar.

Gubernatorial candidate Jim Hennager got his start in the Ross Perot trenches and was the winner of the only Reform Party primary in state history in 1998. He carried the party to less than 1 percent and loss of their full party status (the same year that Reform candidate Jesse Ventura actually won the election next door in Minnesota).

Hennager next surfaced as the congressional nominee of the "One Earth Party" (variously called "One Earth Federation") in 2002. Surprisingly, he's from Nevada, not Fairfield. Sometimes I miss the Natural Law Party.

Also filing on the NIPI ticket - is that pronounced Nippie as in Hippie and Yippee? - were Spencer Highland for secretary of state and Levi Benning for secretary of agriculture. (He may actually have a shot at second place against the hapless Sherrie Taha... Sorry, friends, but earthy-crunchy just doesn't play in a race for this office.) So that's three statewide candidates for the Nippies (suggested mascot: Wendy O. Williams), one more than Johnathan Narcisse's Iowa Party (aka the Narcissists).

The other surprise Friday: While Libertarian Jake Porter filed, making a second straight run for the office, two Libertarian congressional candidates, Gary Sicard in the 1st CD and Forest Johnson in the 4th, failed to make the ballot (no word on if they tried). That means only the 3rd District will have more than two candidates for Congress. Murphy-Blum, Loebsack-MMM, and King-Mowrer are one on one.

Also not filing for anything: the usually tenacious Socialist Workers. I thought they'd perfected petitioning: aggressively try to sell their Militant newspaper, settle for signature.

The US Senate race will have a crowd of six on the ballot, with Bob Quast filing as the "Bob Quast for Term Limits" candidate. His terms are likely to be limited to zero. But the six way race makes it more likely that whoever does win, Braley or Ernst, will do so with under 50 percent.

The most significant legislative development was on Thursday night in House District 8. Terry Baxter won the House 8 GOP convention to replace Henry Rayhons. Baxter defeated two 2012 primary losers: former senator Jim "Back In" Black, who lost the Senate 4 primary to Dennis Guth, and Bob Dishman. who challenged Rayhons.

So Baxter filed Friday... and later Friday Rayhons' sudden drop out suddenly made much more sense. The lurid nature is hard to ignore, but obviously it's sad and tragic for all involved. Anyway, Baxter is a favorite over Democrat Nancy Huisinga.

Democrats also recruited one last candidate Friday: Deb Ballalatak will challenge GOP freshman Larry Sheets in House 80. Deb Ballalatak lost a 2008 Senate race and a 2010 House race. This was a top tier, close, open seat race in 2012, but without Joe Judge of the Monroe County dynasty on the ballot it's likely to be lower on the radar.

Libertarian Clair Tom Thompson (?) filed in Senate 13 where short-time GOP incumbent Julian Garrett is a favorite over Democrat Pam Deichmann.

In Senate 17, independent Jim Bollard, a neighborhood association activist, joined the field. He and Republican Jonathan Lochman will both try to capitalize on the bitter Democratic primary in Jack Hatch's solid Democratic district. Des Moines folks, help me out: is Bollard a live round? Or did Tony Bisignano win this in June?

(This installment was delayed due to a brief actual vacation. The traditional All 125 Races roundup is in progress and will be ready when it's ready. Also, I suggest not Googling Nippie at work.)

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