An open GOP-leaning seat in Polk County, as House Appropriations chair Scott Raecker of Urbandale announces he's stepping down after 14 years.
The new House District 40 was familiar turf for Raecker, as it shrunk all the way into his base, the Polk County part of Urbandale. The line changes cost Raecker about 200 registered Republicans but he still had a Map Day edge of nearly 1000. With the advantage of long incumbency he was winning safely: 61% in bad year 2008 and 65% in good year 2010. As an open seat it's not unwinnable for a good Democrat in a good year, but for now list this as GOP favored till the dust settles.
In another Polk race, Democrat John McCormally exited this week, citing health issues, from the crowded open seat House 36 race (where Representative Janet Petersen is looking at a smooth transition to Senator Janet Petersen). John worked on a few campaigns over on this end of the state, including the landslide Dave Jacoby special in the summer of `03, and the Deeth Blog wishes him the best. As for House 36, it's still a crowded field that could go to a convention.