Monday, March 03, 2008

Sen. Mulder Announces Retirement

Sen. Mulder Announces Retirement

Iowa Republicans lost a sixth state senator to retirement Monday, as Sioux Center Sen. Dave Mulder surprised colleagues and announced he was not seeking a second term.

The district in Sioux, Lyon, and Plymouth Counties may be the most Republican in the state, and is almost certain to stay in GOP hands. But the vacancy may set up a competitive primary and a reshuffling of the election deck in the state's northwest corner less than two weeks before the filing deadline.

Mulder, a retired teacher, won the biggest upset of the 2004 primary when he unseated Sen. Ken Veenstra. Veenstra had earned a national reputation for anti-gay legislation, and Mulder was widely seen as a more moderate alternative in the white-hot primary that topped 60 percent turnout.

14 Republican senators' terms expire this year, and Mulder joins five previously announced retirements: Jeff Angelo, R-Creston, Thurman Gaskill, R-Corwith, Mary Lundby, R-Marion, Larry McKibben, R-Marshalltown, and John Putney, R-Gladbrook. Lundby is stepping down to run for Linn County Supervisor, and planned to file nomination papers for that job Monday.

In contrast, only one Senate Democrat, Mike Connolly of Dubuque, is stepping down. The other ten Democratic incumbents whose terms are up are expected to seek re-election.

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