Monday, August 11, 2008

No Congressional Candidates File in Second Week

No Congressional Candidates File in Second Week

With only a week to go before Friday's filing deadline, Iowa's U.S. Senate race and five congressional contests remain two-way races. Announced independent candidates in the 2nd and 4th districts have not yet filed.

The big news in the second week of filing with the Secretary of State was Ralph Nader's fourth consecutive appearance on the Iowa ballot. Nader joined a half dozen state legislative candidates filing last week:

  • Democrat Deb Ballalatak of rural Albia, a full-time mom, was nominated in Senate District 36 against Paul McKinley.

  • Ken Vaske of Algona filed in Senate District 4 on the "Grassroots for Life" ticket against Senate president Jack Kibbie.

  • In House District 49, based in Ft. Dodge, Republicans nominated Michael Littzen to take on incumbent Democrat Helen Miller. An independent has announced, but not yet filed, in this race as well. Miller has been unopposed the last couple cycles.

  • In House District 63 in West Des Moines and Urbandale, Republican Rep. Scott Raecker has drawn a Democratic opponent, Nita Garvin. Raecker was unopposed in 2006 and a two to one winner in 2004.

  • Democrats switched candidates in House District 50 after Kristin Roberts dropped out following the primary. 2006 nominee Lynne Gentry will now make a second run against Republican incumbent David Tjepkes, who won with 56% last time.

  • Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad, who represents Ed Fallon's old House District 66 in central Des Moines, is being opposed by Green candidate Chris Moeller.

    Last week's filing leaves 31 legislative races still officially uncontested.

    Independent and third parties need 50 signatures to file for a House seat and 100 for a Senate seat. Democrats and Republicans need to hold conventions to nominate late candidates. Time is running out for such conventions, and with Democratic party rules requiring a week's notice, it may already be too late.

    Candidates nominated by convention are rarely successful, but there are exceptions. Democrats had to nominate by convention in the 2nd Congressional District in 2006 after their nominee fell short on signatures to get on the primary ballot. That failure was just one more reason a lot of observers wrote off that candidate -- but that race turned out OK for Dave Loebsack.
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