Friday, March 16, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 23, Iowa House District 45 & 46

Senate District 23
Registration: D 14500, R 11363, N 17156, total 43178, D +3137
Incumbent: Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames; holdover seat

Herman Quirmbach went from the Ames city council to the Senate in 2002, winning a bit of a primary upset when Johnie Hammond retired. He then beat one-term Rep. Barbara Finch, the only Republican to win a core Ames district in recent years, in November. Quirmbach, 60, held on with an unexpectedly close 53% in 2010.

District Draws Itself: Ames' census population of 58,965 is just short of the ideal Senate District size of 61,076. With the Legislative Service Agency's directive to keep cities together where possible, that pretty much determined the district lines. The seat shrinks all the way into Story County, losing a few rural Boone townships. It keeps a rural township south of town, adds a couple to the east, but loses rural Story to the north. the Democratic edge of the district barely changes, and Quirmbach holds over till 2014.

Campaign finance reports: Quirmbach for Senate

House District 45
Registration: D 7383, R 5554, N 8601, total 21609, D +1829
Incumbent: Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, D-Ames

House District 46
Registration: D 7117, R 5809, N 8555, total 21569, D +1308
Incumbent: Lisa Heddens, D-Ames

Ames is still split into a north and south district. The east-west line across town moves south and shifts the bulk of the Iowa State campus from the southern district, 45, into the north district, 46.

46 shrinks entirely into the city limits and makes this one of those My District Just Not My House deals for Lisa Heddens, who called dibs and moved. District 45 loses the Boone County townships, keeps Washington Township south of the city, and adds a couple townships to the east. Wessel-Kroeschell gains about 300 Democrats with the line changes.

Heddens went to the House in 2002 when the two Ames reps, Democrat Jane Greimann and Republican Barbara Finch, got paired and Finch ran for the Senate instead. Greimann retired in 2004 in poor health (she passed away in early 2006) and Wessel-Kroeschell won a four-way primary. Both have had relatively easy races since, sometimes with only Libertarian opponents.

Both BW-K and Heddens get 2012 opponents from the ranks, current or recent grad, of the Iowa State College Republicans. The two contenders - recent grad Dane Nealson in 45 and current ISU CR chair Stephen Quist in 46, announced at a shared event.

Last cycle Heddens had a fairly easy 2000 vote win over Republican Chad Steenhoek last cycle; a Libertarian was in the race too. . BW-K won by 1000 votes over a relatively high profile Republican, Karin Sevde, in the awful 2010 cycle, and by 2400 over the then-youthful Ryan Rhodes in 2008.

Campaign finance reports: Citizens for Wessel-Kroeschell, Committee to Elect Lisa Heddens

Original post 5/25/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

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