Thursday, March 04, 2010

Rathje, Batcher lead Thursday Filing

Rathje first to file in 2nd CD

Steve Rathje is the first of four likely candidates to file for the June 8 2nd Congressional District primary, topping Thursday's filing list.

Rathje, a Cedar Rapids businessman, came in third in the 2008 U.S. Senate primary. That primary's winner, Christopher Reed, is also running in the 2nd District, along with 2008 congressional nominee Mariannette Miller-Meeks and first-time candidate Rob Gettemy. Winner takes on Dave Loebsack.

In the 3rd District, Scott Batcher is the first to file in a crowded GOP primary for the right to oppose Leonard Boswell.

First term Rep. Kent Sorensen (R-Indianola) makes his challenge to Sen. Stacy Appel official. The no-holds-barred conservative won some attention last year complaining that Chuck Grassley wasn't conservative enough. Sorensen is also likely to tie Sen. Appel to her husband, Supreme Court justice Brent Appel, and the marriage equality issue.

Grinnell city council member Larry Wilson filed as a Republican in House District 75. This has been a hot seat the last couple cycles. Democrat Eric Palmer knocked off Danny Carroll in 2006 and held off the comeback effort in 2008.

Looks like another hot primary in Scott County's 41st Senate District. Conservative Dave Hartsuch knocked off longtime moderate incumbent Maggie Tinsman in the 2006 primary, then ran for Congress in 2008, losing to Rep. Bruce Braley by a wide margin. Thursday, Roby Smith (who lost a state House race in the 2006 general) filed to primary Hartsuch. The Quad City Times has a nice background article on the wild and wooly 41st.

Also in Scott County, we'll see a second try by Republican Ross Paustian, who, in a top-tier race, tried and failed to knock off Elesha Gayman in House District 84 last time.

One I missed yesterday: Democrat Ron Fedler of West Point filed for a second run in Henry County dominated House District 91. This was supposed to be a sleeper race in 2008, but Fedler ran 2000 votes behind Republican Dave Heaton.

Jane Holody, an ag extension staffer and Tea Partier, is on the GOP ballot in Ottumwa's House District 93. Democrat Mary Gaskill (already filed) won with 75 percent against an independent candidate in 2008; before that her last opponent was in a close 2002 primary when the seat was open.

Incumbent Democrat Helen Miller (D-Ft. Dodge) filed in House District 49; she won with just under 60% in 2008. First-term Republican Peter Cownie of West Des Moines also filed in District 60.

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