Friday, June 17, 2011

Clinton Mayor Rodger Holm May Run For Senate District 49

Schrödinger's Seat in Clinton
Also: Pat Grassley announces in House 50

According to Clinton Herald reports, mayor Rodger Holm may or may not be running for a state senate seat that may or may not be on the ballot next year.

Daily Kos Elections (formerly Swing State Project), the same people who gave us the useful term Some Dude, calls this circumstance "Schrödinger's Seat":
A district which has borders that, due to reapportionment and/or redistricting, are not yet known, but which candidates nonetheless are considering running for. Once the district lines are known, such candidates might find themselves in a very sweet spot - or they might find themselves without a district to run in.
In this case we know what the lines of new Senate District 49 are: all of Clinton County and northern Scott County (including LeClaire, Princeton. McCausland and Park View). What we don't know is if there will be an election next year.

Tod Bowman (D-Maquoketa) beat Republican Andrew Naeve by just 70 votes last year in old Senate 13 which went north from Clinton into Jackson and Dubuque counties. In the new map, Bowman, who lives in Jackson County, is paired up with Epworth Democrat Tom Hancock.

Since Bowman was elected to a four year term in a district that overlaps with new Senate 49, he can move south into this district and hold over until 2014. But if Hancock retires, Bowman can hold over, in a more Democratic district and without moving, and Senate 49 will be on the ballot.

Clear as mud? So are Holm's plans. On Monday (6/13) Holm, a registered Republican, announced he was not seeking re-election as mayor. But by Friday (6/17) he was wavering on the decision to step down as mayor:
“My decision is still the same,” Holm said, reiterating that he would likely not run for re-election, “but I’ve had so many people contact me about reconsidering. That makes me rethink things a little bit.”

State re-districting has created a new senate seat, a position that intrigues Holm. He had previously announced that if he decided to pursue the senate seat, he would not seek re-election as campaigning would be too great a distraction from his mayoral duties. However, Holm said that he hadn’t completely ruled out seeking a second term as mayor.
Two more twists: his predecessor as mayor LaMetta Wynn (who ran for and lost the same senate seat in 2006) wants to move back into City Hall. And Naeve has
already announced
his candidacy.

And the decisions that matter here won't even be made in Clinton; they'll be made in Maquoketa and Epworth.

In other redistricting-related news, the next move in the GOP game of chicken in House District 50 as Pat Grassley announces for re-election there. As everyone still reading this blog knows, Grandson is paired up with fellow Republican Annette Sweeney, and neither has a good move to make. Ball's in your court, Sweeney; do we see a fratricidal primary here?

And speaking of Some Dude, which I was a few paragraphs ago, we have an excellent example in the Register: "A 24-year-old criminal justice student from Des Moines’ south side who announced today that he plans to challenge an incumbent Democrat suspended his campaign after he discovered that he no longer lives in the district."

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