Saturday, August 18, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 28, Iowa House District 55 & 56

Senate District 28
Registration: D 9973, R 13665, N 13206, total 36864, R +3692
No Incumbent

Two candidates who lost close 2010 House races are facing off in a no-incumbent Senate race in the state's northeast corner.: all of Clayton and Allamakee Counties and parts of Winneshiek (including Decorah) and Fayette (NOT including Oelwein) counties.

GOP Insurance agent Mike Breitbach lost to Democratic incumbent Roger Thomas by an unexpectedly close 122 votes in 2010. However, the Republican had a 500+ margin in Delaware County, which is not in this district. Thomas won their mutual home county, Clayton, by a similar margin, and the Democrat's edge in Fayette proved to be decisive.

Still, Brietbach has some name ID in that end of the district, which will be new turf for John Beard (Pronounced like bear, not like beer). The Decorah Democrat was a one-term House member in a Winneshiek-Fayette district, winning an open seat in 2008 but losing in `10 to late-starting Republican Bob Hager. On paper, the district has a GOP registration edge (#13 most Republican). But it's been swingy in the past. Winneshiek, historically GOP, trended very Democratic in 2008, but swung back in 2010.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Friends For Breitbach, Beard for Iowa Senate Breitback has $13,417.73 on hand; Beard has $8,601.09.

House District 55
Registration: D 4960, R 6595, N 6196, total 17767, R +1635
Incumbent: Roger Thomas, D-Elkader (Andrew Wenthe, D-Hawkeye, retiring)

This is, on paper, the Democrat's toughest seat to defend, as Thomas gets the #73 seat on the Democratic depth chart.This was a pair-up on Map Day but Oelwein-based Wenthe, who had even speculated about moving south to Republican Dan Rasmussen's Oelwein-Independence based House 64, stepped down instead.

Thomas will be running on new ground in Winneshiek. His old seat had all of Clayton County and an an even party split. He keeps just three townships of Clayton plus the city of Elkader, where he lives.

Three Republicans saw an opportunity here. In 2010, Spillville Mayor Michael Klimesh fell more than 900 votes short of Brian Quirk. Klimesh won with 47% in the 2012 primary, with Dustin Noble of Decorah at 31 and West Union minister Marshall Nessa at 21.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Michael T. Klimesh For State Representative, People for Roger Thomas Thomas has $8,044.28 on hand. Klimesh spent all but 20 bucks on the primary and has raised it back up to $3,445.

House District 56
Registration: D 5013, R 7070, N 7010, total 19097, R +2057
Incumbent: Bob Hager, R-Dorchester

Hager started late in 2010, yet the climate of that cycle was too much for a freshman Democrat to survivek, and Allamakee-based Hager knocked him off. Beard won Winneshiek but Hager won Allamakee by just a little more, for a 257 vote win in the district.

Hager sheds Winneshiek in the new plan and picks up pretty much all of Clayton County from Thomas. The new lines give him 300 fewer Republicans. MFL Mar-Mac School Board President Patti Ruff of McGregor is in for the Democrats, so Hager has to share his Allamakee base.

July 19 Campaign Finance Reports: RUFF for IOWA HOUSE DIST. 56, Bob Hager for Iowa House Not a high-dollar race here. Hager picked up his pace a bit, raising $3,425 in the filing period for $5,377.90 on hand. Ruff has just $1,422.46.

Senate District 28, House District 55 & 56: District of the Day 1 - 6/01/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/16/2012

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