Friday, September 09, 2011

Bacon Makes Senate to House Move

Bacon Makes Senate to House Move

Musical chairs in north central Iowa as freshman Senator Rob Bacon gets out of a pair-up with fellow Republican Bill Dix by running for the House -- and facing the same former senator he knocked off in 2010.

The matchup between Bacon and Democrat Rich Olive will take place in House District 48, which on Map Day was home to Democrat Lisa Heddens in a My District Not My House situation. Heddens has decamped to House 46 in the city of Ames proper.

UPDATE October 7: Olive is out.

This happens at least once every redistricting cycle: a sitting senator gets paired up and runs for the House instead. Three Republicans did it in 2002: Mary Lou Freeman, Gene Maddox, and Sandy Greiner. Whether that's a step up or a step down depends on whether you ask a senator or a representative. Let's put it this way: Greiner jumped at a chance to move back to the Senate in 2010.

Bacon will have to move into House 48, though he had some of the same turf in 2010. He also has to give up the last two years of the Senate term. If neither Bacon or Dix had quit or moved, their terms would have been cut short and the two would have faced off in a primary.

But as a consolation prize, his rollout Thursday was impressive. Check this rogue's gallery:
Also in attendance were Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey; Iowa Senate Majority Leader Linda Upmeyer; Rep. Stewart Iverson Jr., R-Dows; Sen. Jerry Behn, R-Boone, and Rep. Dave Deyoe, R-Nevada.
(Hey, Stew: when are you finally gonna make that Senate announcement?)

In retrospect it's clear Bill Dix was the 800 pound gorilla here. Dix, also elected to the Senate in 2010, now gets to hold over in Senate District 25 until 2014. At that time he may have higher ambitions. So I hear.

So how about the Olive-Bacon rematch itself? The old Senate district had a GOP registration edge of 3290. Olive won by 61 votes in the Democratic wave of 2006; Bacon won handily last year. But the new turf only has a Republican edge (as of April) of 454, which Olive could overcome.

Hamilton County makes up about half of this district. That was home base for two-term Democrat McKinley Bailey, who lost to Iverson in 2010. The new seat also includes parts of rural Boone County, southeast Webster County and a little corner of Story, going all the way up to the Ames city limits.

Also noted: Democrat Sara Sedlacek's announcement in House 88 seems to have spurred the GOP incumbent, Tom Sands, into announcing his own re-election bid. And TheIowaRepublican talks to Annette Sweeney about her ├╝berprimary against Pat Grassley.

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