Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 24, Iowa House District 47 & 48

Senate District 24
Registration: D 13188, R 14260, N 17261, total 44744, R +1072
Incumbent: Jerry Behn, R-Boone

A lot has changed for Jerry Behn in the last year. Before his role in the Senate changed to party leader, his district got reconfigured so he loses more constituents than he keeps.

Behn keeps his Boone County base, in fact he now has the whole county. But the old lines went south to take in most of Dallas County, which now dominates TWO new districts. Indeed, Behn's old turf had the second most registered voters of any Senate district, behind only Jack Whitver in Ankeny. Behn keeps none of that high-growth Dallas turf. Instead, he gets bits of Story and Webster and all of Hamilton and Greene.

Republican Senate leaders have lost their jobs all sorts of ways the last few years -- how about in a general election? Losing Dallas County costs Behn about 3,000 registered Republicans and turns this into a swing district. Teacher Shelly Stotts is the Democratic candidate.

Behn went to the Senate in 1996, knocking off Democratic incumbent Al Sorensen. Sorensen made a comeback attempt in 2008 but lost 59% to 41%.

Campaign finance report: Behn for Senate

House District 47
Registration: D 6732, R 6861, N 8882, total 22493, R +129
Incumbent: Chip Baltimore, R-Boone; comeback attempt and rematch of 2010 race

Republican Chip Baltimore won one of 2010's biggest upsets and closest races, defeating Democrat Donovan Olson by just 23 votes in a seat with an 1100 Democratic registration edge. Olson is making a comeback attempt.

Baltimore keeps most of Boone County, including the city and everything west. A few townships shift around on the east. He gives up Perry in north Dallas county, an area that Olson won in 2010. Instead gets all of Greene County. This changes the margin from a Democratic seat to a very close swing seat. Still, this is the kind of race Democrats need to win if they want to recapture the House. The Olson for State Representative Committee had $1813 cash on hand on January 19, mostly left over. Baltimore for Iowa House had $18,000.

House District 48
Registration: D 6456, R 7399, N 8379, total 22251, R +943
No Incumbent

Hamilton County makes up about half of this district. That was home base for two-term Democrat McKinley Bailey, who lost to Stu 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. New 48 is good Republican territory, but not great.

For a while it looked like a 2010 Senate race would be re-played as a 2012 House race. Democrat Rich Olive announced in June, and Republican Rob Bacon announced in September that he was making the Senate to House move and moving here to get out of his pair-up with Bill Dix. But in early October, Olive withdrew. Rural Ames Democrat Becky Perkovich joined the race just before the filing deadline.

Campaign finance report: Friends of Rob Bacon

Original post 5/26/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

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