Thursday, February 16, 2012

Spillville Mayor Announces in House 55

Democrat Ruff in House 56

Two announcements, one on each team, from the state's northeast corner:

  • Spillville Mayor Michael Klimesh is making a second run for the Iowa House. The Republican has announced in House District 55 against Democratic incumbent Roger Thomas.

    The second run is on very different turf. Klimesh fell more than 900 votes short of Brian Quirk, the only Six Pack conservaDem to survive 2010. That seat covered all of Chickasaw and Howard counties, where Quirk won his margin, plus southern and western Winneshiek, which Klimesh carried.

    The new seat has little overlap outside of Spillville. It covers more of Winneshiek, including Decorah, the northern half of Fayette, and a small part of western Clayton that includes Elkader, where Thomas lives. It leans a bit Republican. Thomas survived in 2010 by just 122 votes over Michael Brietbach, who's running this cycle in the overlapping, open seat Senate 28 race.

    This seat was a Democratic pair-up on Map Day; in December Fayette-based Andrew Wenthe announced his retirement. It would have been a Democratic triple-up if John Beard of Decorah hadn't lost in 2010. Beard is making a comeback attempt in the Senate 28 race.

  • The other half of Senate 28 is House 56, where MFL Mar-Mac School Board President Patti Ruff of McGregor has just announced on the Democratic side. She'll face Bob Hager, the Republican who knocked off Beard.

    Hager's old district had all of Allamakee County and the larger part of Winneshiek. This map the Allamakee seat goes south to take in almost all of Clayton except Elkader. This seat also leans a bit Republican. But Hager won, in part, on a friends and neighbors dynamic, winning Allamakee by just a bit more than Beard's margi in Winneshiek. This time, Hager has to share his base with Ruff.
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