Two top tier candidates in open seat races top today's filing: Mark Jacobs in the Republican Senate primary and Democrat Staci Appel in the 3rd CD. Jacobs faces three other major contenders and a couple Some Dudes in the primary; Appel is a strong favorite over Gabriel de la Cerda.
Also filing today was Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, a Republican seeking a third term. Northey's lack of ambition for the Senate race may have thwarted the ambition of Grandson Grassley, looking for another resume builder. Pat had to settle for filing today for another run in House 50.
Locally. Bob Dvorsky filed, completing the set of Johnson County Democratic incumbents seeking re-election. And it's now officially a contested primary for the Democrats in House 73 as Dennis Boedeker of Lowden, a former Cedar County supervisor, files. He's hoping to face Republican incumbent Bobby Kaufmann in the fall but first he has to get past the tenacious David Johnson. (The OTHER David Johnson also filed today: the GOP incumbent senator from up northwest in District 1.)
Another Democratic in-fight sure to be heated: Senate 17, the safe seat that Jack Hatch is leaving. Tony Bisignano, who's career has had more than its share of drama, filed today. He'll face Nathan Blake and Ned Chiodo.
DINO Joe Seng, who lost a bizarre 2012 primary challenge to Dave Loebsack 80-20%, got a primary challenger of his own in Senate 45... but not the viable progressive we were hoping for. Some Dude Mark Riley was Seng's Republican opponent in 2010, then ran against Rep. Cindy Winckler as an independent in 2012.
Senate 13 is looking way less interesting than it did six months ago when Dems were hoping the fatally damaged Kent Sorenson would stay viable just long enough to get through a primary. But Sorenson resigned in the fall, Julian Garrett easily won the special, and filed today for the full term.
Also facing the voters sooner than your average senator: Clinton Democrat Rita Hart in Senate 49. That was the only odd-number seat up for a shortened two year term in 2012. Redistricting left the turf with no incumbent.
On the House side both Democrats filed today in open House 61 in Waterloo. Timi Brown-Powers and Andrew Miller are looking to replace Anesa Kajtazovic when she goes to Congress. The primary winner is favored over Republican Nathan Bolton. (Not to be confused with Des Moines attorney and Louisa County native Nate Boulton, who was a great doorknocking partner way back when.)
Council Bluffs Dems seem to have done better in recruiting this cycle than last. Labor activist Charlie McConkey filed today in House 15, where Mark Brandenburg is leaving to run for recorder. And an announcement in House 16 from attorney Marti Nerenstone. She's challenging Republican incumbent Mary Ann Hanusa who filed today.
In southern Iowa's House 27, we have a Democratic candidate who looks pretty good on paper: Fred Diehl, mayor of Osceola, will challenge Republican Joel Fry. Democrat Mike Reasoner held a version of this seat till Fry upset him in 2010.
Three western Iowa Democrats filed in strong Republican seats. Democrat Tim Ennis of Corning, a farmer active in the National Farmer's Organization (the progressive alternative to Farm Bureau) is challenging Jack Drake in House 21.
The other two don't leave much of a search engine trail, thus meeting the definition of Some Dude: "If you Google Some Dude's name, you'll find very little information-probably just the news article or blog post where they were first mentioned as a possible candidate." Nancy Paule Huisinga filed in House 8, where she'll face GOP incumbent Henry Rayhons. And Democrat Paul Thelen of Vail turned in the papers for open House 18, where Republican Jason Schultz is leaving to run for Nancy Boettger's open Senate 9 seat.
And more House incumbents:
- Gary Worthan R-Storm Lake House 11
- Chris Hall D-Sioux City House 13
- Dan Kelly D-Newton House 29 (he'll face Republican Patrick Payton)
- Des Moines Dems Marti Anderson in House 36 and Jo Oldson in House 41
- Josh Byrnes R-Osage House 51 (Dem Laura Hubka is challenging)
- Jerry Kearns D-Keokuk House 83
- Dennis COhoon, D-Burlington House 87