Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Liberty List

The newly formed "Liberty Iowa PAC" put out an endorsement list of "Constitutional conservatives" for the June 5 Republican primary, which is the first scorecard-type item I've seen yet for these races. Let's walk through it District of the Day style.

David Scott Edwards – Senate District 16: Uncontested primary. Some Dude challenging longtime incumbent Dick Dearden in heavily Democratic Des Moines seat.

Jeff Mullen – Senate District 22: Not a shocker here that they're backing conservative minister Mullen over the relative moderate Pat Ward. A good GOP seat but Democrats have a strong candidate in attornet Desmund Adams.

Randi Shannon – Senate District 34: An odd choice to emphasize; Shannon fits the group's profile, but not the district's, and Liz Mathis proved herself an incredibly strong candidate in the Battle Of Marion last year. Shannon is uncontested in the primary.

Will Johnson – Senate District 50: The former congressional candidate and newly minted national delegate has a primary contest with relatively weak John Hulshizer Jr., and no chance whatsoever against Pam Jochum in this heavily Democratic seat.  (If you were running for a legislative seat, why would you want to be a national delegate? The slim chance at a moment on TV isn't worth giving up a solid week of coffees and doorknocking.)

Kevin Wolfswinkel –  House District 1: NOW it gets interesting. A clear challenge from the right, and from the new part of the district, to Okoboji freshman Jeff Smith.

Josh Davenport – House District 2: Minister Davenport joined the race in March; young attorney Megan Hess had announced early. Open seat with good GOP numbers, but not impossible for Democrat Steve Bomgaars.

Tom Shaw – House District 10: Role reversal here as the "constitutional conservative" is incumbent Shaw. He's being challenged from the relative center by former UI student government president Maison Bleam.

Jason Schultz – House District 18: Odd choice as two-term Schultz has no primary opposition. Two Democrats are facing off in June.

Steve McCoy – House District 26: The open Glen Massie seat. McCoy, Warren County GOP "co-chair" (sic), has a primary with Carlisle mayor Ruth Randleman. The winner faces strong Democratic contender Scott Ourth, who lost a 2010 upset to Massie, in a dead-even district.

Joe Corbin – House District 32: Why? No primary opponent, no chance against Democrat Ruth Anne Gaines in a deep blue seat.

Tony Seliquini – House District 36 Same deal here in the open Janet Peterson house seat, except at least Seliquini has a primary against two other Some Dudes for the right to lose in November.

Matt DeVries – House District 37: Any signals are valuable in the six-way GOP primary in This Is Where Your District Went. Look for Paul backer DeVries to win this if it goes to a convention.

Jake Highfill – House District 39: This one's a big deal with Highfill the challenger to incumbent Erik Helland, and with the charges that Helland tried to ease Highfill out of the race with a job offer.

And that's the end of the list, which in numerical order looks oddly truncated at 39.

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