Sunday, August 19, 2012

District Of The Day 3: Iowa Senate District 40, Iowa House District 79 & 80

Senate District 40
Registration: D 10118, R 15642, N 12388, total 38175, R +5524
Open seat; Tom Rielly, D-Oskaloosa, retiring

It's hard to even call this "Rielly's" district, the lines have changed so much. His home base of Oskaloosa and the eastern half of Mahaska is all that overlaps. The old seat went north and east: Keokuk and Poweshiek counties, most of Iowa (except Marengo) and a sliver of Tama. This district picks up the rest of Mahaska, all of Monroe and Appanoose, and the corner of Marion that includes Pella, It also gets rural Wapello County north and west of Ottumwa, but none of the Democrats from the city itself.

The numbers make Republican Ken Rozenboom, a Mahaska County supervisor, a heavy favorite. The line was blank on the Democratic primary ballot, as Rielly retired days before the filing deadline. Like Republican Jeff Kaufmann, he's running for the Board of Supervisors instead. And like the Sally Stutsman seat in Johnson, the main excitement may be filling Rozenboom's supervisor seat post-election.

The Democrats have recriuted a credible candidate, attorney and Pella school board member Tim Tripp. But this is the number 7 Republican district, the toughest that Democrats are contesting this cycle.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Rozenboom for Senate, The late-starting Tripp is competitive in cash on hand with $4,369.54. Rozenboom has $5,168.44, but he started raising and spending earlier.

House District 79
Registration: D 3818, R 9075, N 5941, total 18849, R +5257
Incumbent: Guy Vander Linden, R-Oskaloosa

UPDATE September 20: Democrat Wilson has moved out of state.

Two years ago this was a top tier race as Vander Linden beat two-term Democrat Eric Palmer in a dead-even Oskaloosa-Grinnell seat.

The new map changed everything. Two similar sized cities that had always been the anchors of different legislative districts, Oskaloosa and Pella, got drawn tohether. Pella's Jim Van Engelenhoeven is retiring, and freshman Guy Vander Linden inherits what's now a safe seat (#7 most Republican). The top six are uncontested, so no Democrat running this year has tougher turf than Chris Wilson of Oskaloosa.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: VANDER LINDEN FOR IOWA Wilson had not raised enough money to form a committee.

House District 80
Registration: D 6300, R 6567, N 6447, total 19326, R +267
No Incumbent

No-incumbent House 80 is a very close swing seat: just barely Democratic before the caucuses, just barely Republican after.  It includes all of Appanoose and Monroe Counties, western Wapello and eastern Mahaska; it comes up to the city limits of Ottumwa and Oskaloosa but includes neither. It's right on the line for House control: tied for number 49 most Democratic/number 51 most Republican.

Democrats have an A-list candidate from the first family of Monroe County politics. Joe Judge, a teacher and former county party chair, is the son of former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge and former Sen. John Judge (who succeeded Patty in the Senate when she became Secretary of Agriculture).

Larry Sheets of Moulton, a retired engineer and former Moulton-Udell school board member, is the Republican. He filed in 2010 in the old Kurt Swaim seat, but dropped out before the withdrawal deadline.

July 19 Campaign Finance Report: Sheets For Iowa House, Judge for Iowa Judge has a huge money lead with $20,786.21 on hand. Sheets has just $993.92.

Senate District 40, House District 79 & 80: District of the Day 1 - 6/17/2011 | District of the Day 2 - 3/17/2012

No comments: