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Another big event occurred last week that was weighing on the minds of a lot of legislators - candidate filing deadlines were Friday, March 14.  Now, all legislators know if they have an opponent in both the the June 3rd primary and the November 4th general election, and and who those opponents are.  If you would like to know who will be running in primary elections all across the state, the complete 70-page list is available online at

Of the 25 Iowa Senate seats up this November, 11 are currently held by Republicans and 14 are held by Democrats.  (Only half of the Senate is up for election every 2 years, since Senate terms are 4 years in length.) There are contested races in 7 of the seats held by Republicans and 9 of the seats held by Democrats.  There are primary races in a total of 12 Senate races (though in most of those, the incumbent is unchallenged in the primary).

All 100 of the Iowa House seats are up this year, but exactly half of current legislators have no opponent in the primary or general election (29 Democrats and 21 Republicans). There are contested races in 29 seats currently held by Republicans, and in 14 seats currently held by Democrats. 


  • Five state senators will have a primary challenge in June (three Democrats and two Republicans).  They include Sen. Wally Horn, who announced he would run for a final time at the age of 80.  Sen. Horn (SD35) is the longest serving state legislator.  Others include Sen. Jack Whitver (SD19), Sen. Herman Quirmbach (SD23), Sen. Mark Chelgren (SD41), and Sen. Joe Seng (SD45).

  • Five state senators will retire this year (two Democrats and three Republicans).  They are Sen. Nancy Boettger (SD9), Sen. Hubert Houser (SD11), Sen. Dennis Black (SD15), Sen. Jack Hatch (SD17), and Sen. Sandy Greiner (SD39).  Sen. Hatch is leaving his seat to run as the Democratic candidate for Governor.

  • Eight state senators are running unopposed (five Democrats and three Republicans).  They still can get an opponent if the other party decides to nominate someone at their convention this summer.  These “lucky” legislators include: Sen. David Johnson (SD1), Sen. Bill Anderson (SD3), Sen. Matt McCoy (SD21), Sen. Bill Dix (SD25), Sen. Bill Dotzler (SD31), Sen. Rob Hogg (SD33), Sen. Bob Dvorsky (SD37), and Sen. Joe Bolkcom (SD43).
  • Ten state representatives are retiring this year (four Democrats, six Republicans).  They include Rep. Jeff Smith (HD1), Rep. Tom Shaw (HD10), Rep. Mark Brandenburg (HD15), Rep. Jason Schultz (HD18), Rep. Roger Thomas (HD55), Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic (HD61), Rep. Tyler Olson (HD65), Rep. Mark Lofgren (HD91), Rep. Steve Olson (HD97), and Rep. Pat Murphy (HD99). Rep. Jason Schultz is running unopposed for a vacant state senate seat; Rep. Anesa Kajtazovic and Rep. Pat Murphy are running against each other for Congress in Northeast Iowa, and Rep. Mark Lofgren is running for Congress in Southeast Iowa.
  • Half of the Iowa House is running unopposed (29 Democrats and 21 Republicans).  They include: Rep. Megan Hess (HD2), Rep. Dwayne Alons (HD4), Rep. Chuck Soderberg (HD5), Rep. Ron Jorgenson (HD6), Rep. Helen Miller (HD9), Rep. Gary Worthan (HD11), Rep. Dave Dawson (HD14), Rep. Ralph Watts (HD19), Rep. Greg Forristall (HD22), Rep. Mark Costello (HD23), Rep. Cecil Dolecheck (HD24), Rep. Rick Olson (HD31), Rep. Ruth Ann Gaines (HD32), Rep. Brian Meyer (HD33), Rep. Bruce Hunter (HD34), Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (HD35), Rep. Marti Anderson (HD36), Rep. John Landon (HD37), Rep. Kevin Koester (HD38), Rep. John Forbes (HD40), Rep. Jo Oldson (HD41), Rep. Rob Taylor (HD44), Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell (HD45), Rep. Lisa Heddens (HD46), Rep. Robert Bacon (HD48), Rep. Todd Prichard (HD52), Rep. Sharon Steckman (HD53), Rep. Linda Upmeyer (HD54), Rep. Patti Ruff (HD56), Rep. Deborah Berry (HD62), Rep. Art Staed (HD66), Rep. Kraig Paulsen (HD67), Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (HD69), Rep. Todd Taylor (HD70), Rep. Dave Jacoby (HD74), Rep. Sally Stutsman (HD77), Rep. Jarad Klein (HD78), Rep. Guy Vander Linden (HD79), Rep. Larry Sheets (HD80), Rep. Mary Gaskill (HD81), Rep. Jerry Kearns (HD83), Rep. Mary Mascher (HD86), Rep. Dennis Cohoon (HD87), Rep. Tom Sands (HD88), Rep. Jim Lykam (HD89), Rep. Cindy Winckler (HD90), Rep. Linda Miller (HD94), Rep. Lee Hein (HD96), Rep. Mary Wolfe (HD98), and Rep. Charles Isenhart (HD100).
  • Five state representatives will face primaries this year (one Democrat and four Republicans).  They include the legislator who just won a special election in January (Rep. Rep. Stan Gustafson in HD25) and Rep. Jake Highfill (HD39), Rep. Walt Rogers (HD60), Rep. Dave Heaton (HD84), and Rep. Vicki Lensing (HD85).
  • Two former state senators and two former state representatives have announced they are running for office. Former State Senator Mike Sexton is running for the state representative seat of retiring Rep. Tom Shaw.  Former State Senator Tony Bisignano is running in the primary for the state senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jack Hatch, who is running for Governor.  Also running in that primary is former State Representative Ned Chiodo. Former State Representative Ross Paustian is running against Rep. Frank Wood, who defeated him for the seat in 2012.