Sunday, August 19, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 46, Iowa House District 91 & 92

Senate District 46
Registration: D 11197, R 11644, N 15741, total 38595, R +447
Incumbents: Shawn Hamerlinck, R-Dixon

Back on Map Day I didn't expect this one to go to a primary between fellow GOP incumbents Hamerlinck and Jim Hahn. Hamerlinck lives close to the district line and works in Clinton, so empty Senate 49 would have worked. Hahn turns 76 by Election Day 2012, and could have retired.

But instead the two duked it out in a half and half district. Hamerlinck won Scott by more than Hahn won Muscatine, for a fairly easy 61-39 win.

Democrats are ready to take on the survivor with Muscatine firefighter Chris Brase. The primary results helps, if you look at it as a Muscatine vs, Davenport thing rather than a D vs. R thing. This is the number 22 most Democratic Senate seat -- actually, probably less so, as GOP registration was boosted by the primary. In any case it's the toughest being defended by an incumbent Republican.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Committee to Elect Shawn Hamerlinck, Committee to Elect Chris Brase Brase has a big lead with $29,297.05in the bank. Hamerlinck spent $13,089.81 during the filing period, which includes the end of the primary, and has just $3,255.95 on hand.

House District 91
Registration: D 5688, R 6116, N 7385, total 19197, R +428
Incumbent: Mark Lofgren, R-Muscatine

Mark Lofgren, a first time candidate in 2010, finally took this seat back for the GOP. He beat the first Democrat to hold the set in decades, three termer Nathan Reichert, by 1500 votes.

This is another District Draws Itself, as the city of Muscatine is 75% of ideal district size. Lofgren also keeps suburban Bloomington Township (a GOP stronghold) and the same three townships in eastern Muscatine County including Stockton. He sheds one rural township to the west and adds the Fruitland area. This adds a little population and makes a swing seat even closer: right on the line of House control, as Democratic seat 52 and Republican seat 49.

Democrats have recruited John Dabeet, chair of the Muscatine Community College business department. In a helpful pronunciation aid, his parade crew marches to that Go-Go's classic, "We Got Dabeet." No I'm not joking. But for my money no one will ever top Ro Foege's Ro-tilla of Ro Boats.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Committee to Elect John Dabeet, Team LOFGREN Lofgren has a solid $18,355.74 on hand. Dabeet trails at $3,217.64.

House District 92
Registration: D 5509, R 5528, N 8356, total 19398, R +19
Incumbent: Ross Paustian, R-Walcott

In with the wave, out with the wave. No one really gave Democrat Elesha Gayman a chance in 2006, when she shocked Jim (The Elder) Van Fossen and set a record, since broken by Anesa Kajtazovic, as the youngest woman elected to the legislature. She won a tough battle with Farm Bureau-backed republican Ross Paustian in 2008, then unexpectedly stepped down just before the 2010 deadline and moved out of state.
Paustian had never stopped running. Democrat Sheri Carnahan made a serious 2010 effort, but Paustian won with 57%.

The lines shifts north in Davenport (losing all its riverfront) and east to roughly Highway 61. Out in the county Paustian keeps very similar lines, and most of the county west of Davenport. It The district keeps almost the same lean on paper. It's Republican by 19 voters now, the second closest margin in the state, but that's after high primary turnout in the Senate race.

The Democrat, former senator Frank Wood, is attempting a comeback on the House side. Wood narrowly (480 votes) knocked off Republican incumbent Bryan Sievers in 2004 despite the GOP trend, before falling to Hamerlinck in 2008 despite the Democratic trend. Wood ran county-wide in 2010, losing a supervisor race.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Paustian for State House, Wood for State House Advantage Paustian, with $24,609.54 on hand to Wood's $6,171.78.

Senate District 46, House District 91 & 92: District of the Day 1 - 6/27/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/17/2012

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