Saturday, March 17, 2012

District Of The Day Reboot: Iowa Senate District 43, Iowa House District 85 & 86

Senate District 43
Registration: D 24130, R 9455, N 19380, total 53182, D +14675
Incumbent: Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City; holdover seat

Joe Bolkcom went from the Board of Supervisors to the Senate in 1998 and it's been quiet since. This is by far the most Democratic Senate seat, and Republicans last ran a state senate candidate in the Iowa City based district in 1986. Bolkcom's only opposition, primary or general, was an independent in 2006. Joe stays till 2014.

The district doesn't quite draw itself, as Iowa City is just a little bigger than a Senate district. In the 1990s a piece of the north side was carved out and sent to Bob Dvorsky in Coralville; last decade the excess chunk was on the west side instead. That basic configuration stays, with one more west side precinct taken out of Bolkcom's turf and sent to Dvorsky's. There's also a panhandle to the south; see below.

Campaign finance reports: Joe Bolkcom for Iowa Senate

House District 85
Registration: D 12308, R 4793, N 9523, total 26748, D +7515. The number one Democratic district in the state.
Incumbent: Vicki Lensing, D-Iowa City

This becomes an entirely Iowa City district for the first time. In 2000 Lensing had University Heights; last decade she had the rural fragments of East Lucas township. The line across Iowa City for the most part follows Highway 6, Burlington Street, and Muscatine Avenue, with one deviation south (precinct 19). The area north of the line is Lensing's, though her funeral home gets moved into Mary Mascher's district.

When longtime legislative legend Minnette Doderer retired in 2000, Lensing won a competitive primary and a less competitive general election. That's the last time she saw any opposition at all.

Campaign finance reports: Lensing for House District #78 (sic)

House District 86
Registration: D 11822, R 4662, N 9857, total 26434, D +7160
Incumbent: Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City

The University of Iowa campus gets split; under the old map it was almost all in Mary Mascher's district. Mascher won her first term in 1994 and last saw Republican opposition in 1996. There was a self-starter Some Dude independent in 2008.

Mascher had to move back into her district when the map was announced. That should be the toughest part of the campaign, as the line changes leave this as the second most Democratic seat in the state. The configuration -- most of Iowa City east of Mormon Trek and south of downtown -- is a lot like her 1990s turf. But in a nod to redistricting consultant Jerry Mandering, the lines drop south to pick up the city of Hills.

In case you were wondering, Republicans didn't file in either of the Iowa City House seats.

Campaign finance reports: Committee to Elect Mascher

Original post 6/22/2011 Statewide Map: Front | Back (with City Insets) | Old Senate, House

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