Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Filing Day Three: Former Johnson County Candidates Run Elsewhere

Two candidates who ran past races here in Johnson County filed for legislative seats today in other parts of the state. And there's a libertarian connection to both.

Jeff Shipley, a Republican state central committee member and liberty/Paulworld activist, filed in Fairfield based House 82. Shipley also filed there last cycle but dropped out in time to get off the ballot. Jeff ran for the Iowa City council in 2009, getting through the primary but losing in the biggest landslide in city history as the two townies clobbered the two students. (I saw the blowout coming the minute filing closed, but endorsed him anyway.) The incumbent is Democrat Curt Hanson.

Dubuque's House 99 is Pat Murphy's open seat, the third tier down ripple effect from Tom Harkin's retirement. Today Steve Drahozal was the first of three announced candidates to file today. Abby Finkenauer and Greg Simpson are also announced in this solid Democratic seat (though Murphy as a sitting speaker almost lost in 2010.)

Drahozal is making his second House race. In 2000, when he lived in Coralville, he challenged then House Democratic leader Dick Myers as a Libertarian. He lost 85-15% with no Republican in the race, then left town for Dubuque.(HD73 candidate David Johnson lost to Myers by about the same margin in a 1994 Democratic primary.)

The only other filing today was from Republican Crystal Bruntz of Baxter in Senate District 15. At one point Bruntz looked like she'd be in a three way primary. But former state party "co-chair" and Paulite David Fisher, after resigning his party post to run, dropped out. And the first announced candidate, Patrick Payton, switched to the House 29 race against Newton Democrat Dan Kelley. That leaves Bruntz as the only likely challenger to longtime Democrat Dennis Black.

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