Thursday, April 28, 2011

District of the Day: Senate District 4, House District 7 and 8

District of the Day: Senate District 4, House District 7 and 8

Senate District 4

Registration: D 11,890, R 14,602, N 15,880, total 42,381, R+ 2712
No Incumbent

Five whole counties- Emmett, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock and Wright-with no senators. This turf was split between Jack Kibbie, Merlin Bartz, and Rob Bacon in the old map. No one county dominates geographically as all are of similar size, between 10,000 and 16,000 population in a 61,000 body district. That's a lot of parades.

Last year Bacon knocked off Democrat Rich Olive, who won in 2006 when Stew Iverson quit his re-elect race after being deposed as Senate Republican leader. Iverson, of course, made a comeback last year when he defeated Six Pack Democrat McKinley Bailey in a Wright-Hamilton district.

Iverson is part of the triple-up in House 8 (see below) which is partially resolved by his likely run in this seat. There's not a lot of overlap between new senate 4 and the old Senate 5 that he held. Wright is the south end of the new seat that borders Minnesota. The old one went south from Wright instead, through Hamilton, wrapped around Ames to take in most of geographic Story, and ended way down at the Polk County line. The old seat was a few hundred voters more Republican, but Olive still managed to squeak through by 61 votes in a Democratic landslide year.

House District 7

Registration: D 6526, R 6405, N 8514, total 21,450, D+ 121
Incumbent: John Wittneben, D-Estherville

Day Four and finally our first House Democrat. Wittneben was one of the D's few bright spots in 2010, holding an open lean-Democratic district by just 32 votes when Marcy Frevert retired. But the new district loses 1200 Democrats to become a swing seat. Wittneben loses the Frevert base of Palo Alto but keeps his own Emmet County base and rural north Kossuth. But significantly, he adds the city of Algona.

House District 8

Registration: D 5364, R 8197, N 7366, total 20931, R+ 2833

Incumbents: Linda Upmeyer, R-Garner, Stew Iverson, R-Clarion, and Henry Rayhons, R-Garner

UPDATE July 14: Upmeyer officially announces move to House 54.

UPDATE August 10: Rayhons staying and running.

For a few hours on March 31, it looked like this was the seat that could have scuttled the whole plan. With Upmeyer and Rayhons both carrying Garner addresses, it would have been hard for the map geeks to keep them apart; Iverson was just one more wrench in the works.

Early reports were that Upmeyer would be the one who stayed, but now it seems she's looking at open House 54 to the north. Rayhons is 75 and was pegged as a retirement, but if Upmeyer does move he could stick around. Iowa Politics offered a good summary on April 20:

Upmeyer has said she might move from her longtime farm in Garner to a condominium in the Clear Lake area. But if she doesn’t, Rayhons said he’ll retire instead of running against his fellow Republican.

“It’s going to all depend on what Representative Upmeyer does,” Rayhons told “I would guess that I would probably run for that House seat if Representative Upmeyer decides to move. However, I will not interject if Representative Upmeyer stays where she is and wants the seat. I would quit the Legislature, probably.”

As for Iverson, speculation is that he might run for a state Senate seat that’s vacant due to redistricting. Iverson is a former Senate majority leader. However, he said Tuesday that he hadn’t made up his mind on his political future.

“I have absolutely made no decisions yet,” Iverson said. “The House district looks pretty good. The Senate district looks pretty good. There happens to be three Republicans in the House district. Representative Upmeyer, Representative Rayhons and I have not sat down. We have not talked about anything. I have to tell you, I’ve made no decisions yet whatsoever, and I probably won’t make a decision until next fall.”

However, Iverson is sure about one thing.

“I am not moving,” he said.
If Upmeyer stays she gets a slightly more Republican district. She'd lose Winnebago and Worth to the north and east. This seat instead goes south to Iverson's Wright County base and gets southern and western Kossuth, but not the city of Algona.

Rayhon's old turf went to the east in Franklin and picked up the Clear Lake part of Cerro Gordo, which is specifically where Upmeyer is taking about moving. Open House 54 could also have been the escape route for Annette Sweeney, who drew the short straw in the pair with Pat Grassley. But it's starting to look like she drew the short straw here, too.

New Map | New Map (Insets) | Old Map

No comments: