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Primaries Over; On to General Election

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The first step to becoming a legislator, a member of Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, or any other elected office is to get your political party's nomination.  Sometimes more than one person wants to be the Republican (or Democrat) running for an office; that is why we have Primary Elections.  Primaries decide who that party's candidate will be - the person that will be the Republican or Democrat in the November General Election (set this year for November 4). 

All ten legislators that faced primary challenges for state House and Senate seats won, and will go on to be their party's candidate in the General Election.  You can look at primary election results on the Secretary of State's website - click here.  Here are a few highlights:

  • State Representative Pat Murphy of Dubuque won a five-way primary for Congress in Northeast Iowa (Iowa's 1st Congressional District).  He beat former State Senator Swati Dandekar, State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic, and Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman Monica Vernon (who is now the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor).  Rep. Pat Murphy will face businessman Rod Blum (also from Dubuque) in the November election.

  • State Representative Mark Lofgren lost his bid for Congress in SE Iowa (Iowa's 2nd Congressional District) to former Iowa Department of Public Health Director Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks.  Dr. Miller-Meeks will face US Congressman Dave Loebsack in the November 4 election.

  • In the central Iowa Congressional seat (Iowa's 3rd Congressional District), no one got enough votes to become the Republican candidate, so a candidate was chosen at convention. State Senator Brad Zaun and Secretary of State Matt Schultz lost their bid for Congress when the convention picked former Grassley Chief of Staff David Young.  Former State Senator Staci Appel is running as the Democrat for that seat.

  • Former Secretary of State Paul Pate will run as the Republican against Democrat Brad Anderson, an Assistant Attorney General.  Both ran unopposed in the primary.

  • 14 candidates running for State Senate are currently unopposed (no one is running against them).  There is still time in some of those seats for someone to announce they will run.  There are 25 Senate seats up for election this year (because Senators serve four-year terms).

  • More than half of the candidates for House are running unopposed at this time.  58 out of the 100 seats up for election have only one person running in them.

This will be an interesting election year. Because US Senator Tom Harkin and US Representative Tom Latham are retiring, and because US Representative Bruce Braley is running for Sen. Harkin's seat, half of Iowa's Congressional and US Senate seats are up for grabs.  Secretary of State Matt Schultz decided to run for Congress instead of running for re-election - so the important job of running the state's election systems is also open.  Fifteen state legislators are retiring this year, leaving their seats open for someone new. 

The next issue of infoNET will provide more information about the candidates running for office and how to contact them.  In the meantime, you can find voter information on the Secretary of State's website or on ID Action's Vote campaign.