Tuesday, May 24, 2011

District of the Day: Senate District 22, House Districts 43 and 44

District of the Day: Senate District 22, House Districts 43 and 44

Senate District 22

Registration: D 11,450, R 14,839, N 12,804, total 39116, R+ 3389
Incumbent: Pat Ward, R-West Des Moines

Ward was elected in a hurry-up special during the 2004 session when Mary Kramer got a dream job: ambassador to a tropical island. Barbados, to be exact. Ward easily won a full term that fall and drew a bye in 2008 despite Democratic recruiting efforts.

So the first bad luck she's had was this map. She explains the district changes herself:
Unfortunately, my current Senate district was chopped in two on the new map. About 40 percent of the district remains in Senate District 21 and 60 percent of the district is in a newly created Senate District 22. The good news is that since a majority of the people I represent live in District 22, I plan to run for re-election in November 2012 in that district. The new district encompasses parts of West Des Moines, Clive, Windsor Heights and Waukee in both Polk and Dallas counties.
Ward was probably the first legislator in the state to announce her plans: March 31st, before noon. It's a smart move: the district she cedes to McCoy has a registration edge of more than 5000 Democrats. Her new home has a GOP edge of more than 3000, which is 2000 better than her old district.

Ward keeps Clive, Windsor Heights and a piece of West Des Moines (but not the piece with her house). The new territory goes west; see House 44 below.

But the rumor mill notes that former WHO radio host Steve Deace, who's been mumbling a bit about entering electoral politics since his last-minute bid for Polk County Republican chair, lives in just a couple blocks east of this district, in the Polk part of West Des Moines.

House District 43

Registration: D 7043, R 7696, N 5221, total 19971, R+ 653
Incumbent: Chris Hagenow, R-Windsor Heights

Lines stay similar: Windsor Heights, the Polk part of Clive, and part of northern West Des Moines. It's long and skinny but Clive's elongated boundaries kind of force that.

The area has had a few reps, all Republicans, in recent years. Gene Maddox, who made a Senate to House move in the 2002 map year when he got paired with Kramer, stepped down in 2006. Dan Clute won a single term in 2006, but didn't run in 2008 (anyone know what up with that?) Democrats scored a recruiting coup with Windsor Heights Mayor Jerry Sullivan, but Chris Hagenow and the party balance proved to be too much for a pickup in a good year. But barely - Hagenow won by just 91 votes. He had an easier time in 2010, with 58%. The reality is probably between those two margins.

Hagenow, 29, gains 200 Republicans, which could be useful in a tough cycle.

House District 44
Registration: D 4407, R 7143, N 7583, total 19145, R+ 2736

Like I said about Ankeny last week: Rural Republicans who got paired, this is where your district went. More than anyplace else in the state, this is truly a new district. As in, built since the last time we drew a map. Waukee grew from just over 5,000 people in the 2000 census to nearly 14,000 in 2010, and becomes the anchor of this seat, which also includes the Dallas County parts of Clive and West Des Moines. That was all in the old Ralph Watts district 47, which doubled in population. With no incumbents and few roots, this could see a multi-way GOP primary. July 29 UPDATE: First in is Dallas County GOP chair Rob Taylor.

New Map
| New Map (Insets) | Old Map

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