Saturday, August 18, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 36, Iowa House District 71 & 72

Senate District 36
Registration: D 11129, R 12062, N 13993, total 37204, R +933
Incumbent: Steve Sodders, D-State Center

No Democrat gained more from the Republican primary results than Steve Sodders. The Branstad wing of the party recruited Sodders' predecessor, former three-term senator and one time congressional candidate Larry McKibben. But primary voters preferred tea partyish two-time House loser Jane Jech over McKibben, 59-41%. The race dropped significantly in priority soon after.

Sodders, a deputy sheriff, won by more than 3,000 votes when McKibben retired in Democratic wave year 2008. The new lines will help him in 2012, as he sheds 1500 Republicans and this becomes a true swing seat.

Marshall County makes up two-thirds of this seat. The old district had all of Hardin County and the tiny piece of Ackley in Franklin County. The district moves east to take in all of Tama County and a small piece of southern Black Hawk.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Jane Jech for Iowa Senate, Sodders for State Senate Sodders has been prepping for a tough race. He raised over $32,000 in June and July and has $68,734.76 on hand. Jech took in $16,429.00 post-primary and has $11,065.75.

House District 71
Registration: D 5557, R 5545, N 6356, total 17467, D +12
Incumbent: Mark Smith, D-Marshalltown

The District Draws Itself: With a census population of 27,552, Marshalltown is 90.4% of ideal district size. This remains a swing seat, as it's been for years. As of my August 9 benchmark date, the voter registration margin of 12 voters for the Democrats makes this the most evenly split seat in the state. There was a 58 vote race here in 1992, and Smith won the seat in 2000 by knocking off three term Republican Beverly Nelson-Forbes by just 275. He settled in to the point where he was unopposed in 2004 and 2006, and beat Jech by more than 1700 in 2008. But in a rematch with Jech against the 2010 GOP wave, Smith survived by just a 303 vote margin.

With Jech in the Senate race, Republicans have turned to farmer and ex-school board member Allen Burt for the House race.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Mark Smith for Iowa House, Allen Burt for House Smith raised more than 10 grand in June/July and has $29,485.98. Burt has $18,255.48 on hand.

House District 72
Registration: D 5572, R 6517, N 7637, total 19737, R +945
Open seat; Lance Horbach, R-Tama, not seeking re-election

Horbach announced his retirement before The Map was even released. Republican Dean Fisher of Garwin will try to hold a seat that's significantly less Republican. The old Tama-Grundy seat had a GOP registration edge of almost 2500, and Horbach, after winning his first term by 9 votes, had gradually settled into the comfort of uncontested races. This decade Tama County gets sent west to pick up all of Marshall County south and west of Marshalltown.

This shifts the district into the swing seat zone. In a Democratic primary upset, school custodian and county conservation board member Nathan Wrage defeated highly touted tribal executive Christina Blackcloud-Garcia. 54-46%.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Dean Fisher for House 2012, Wrage for State Representative Wrage had $2,341.06 on hand; Blackcloud-Garcia had pulled in some big out of state donations. Fisher has $3,822.98.

Senate District 36, House District 71 & 72: District of the Day 1 - 6/13/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/16/2012

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