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Iowa Primary Election Features Crowded Democratic Races

Iowa Primary Election Features Crowded Democratic Races
(Diana Opryshko/Dreamstime)

Tuesday, 05 June 2018 11:05 AM

Depending on their party, Iowa voters on Tuesday will see either a packed or sparse primary election ballot.

Five Democrats are competing for their party's nomination to oppose Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, and big fields of Democrats also are running for U.S. House seats, reflecting that three of the four districts are held by Republicans.

Here are races to watch:

1ST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Four Democrats are running to oppose two-term Republican Rep. Rod Blum in the northeastern Iowa district. Blum, who is running unopposed, is considered vulnerable in November in a district where active Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 16,000 voters.

Among the Democrats, state Rep. Abby Finkenauer would be the youngest woman elected to Congress if the 28-year-old wins the general election. Other Democrats are Cedar Falls business executive Thomas Heckroth, Army veteran George Ramsey of Cedar Rapids, and Air Force Reserves veteran Courtney Rowe of Cedar Rapids.

3RD CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

In Iowa's southwest corner another two-term Republican congressman, David Young, also could face a strong challenge in November once Democrats choose their favorite from among West Des Moines businesswoman Cindy Axne, Des Moines insurance company owner Eddie Mauro, and Des Moines political operative Pete D'Alessandro. The 16-county district, which includes Council Bluffs and Des Moines, leans Republican in voter registration.

4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Fourth District Republican Rep. Steve King has a primary challenger, but he's seen as a prohibitive favorite as he seeks his ninth term representing the sprawling district that stretches over 39 counties in northwestern and northern Iowa.

Human resources professional Cyndi Hanson of Sioux City is opposing King, with the winner facing whoever wins a three-person Democratic primary.

The three Democrats are Spencer City Councilwoman Leann Jacobsen, Ames pediatrician John Paschen, and Sioux City paralegal J.D. Scholten. Libertarian Charles Aldrich, of Clarion, also is running.

GOVERNOR

A crowded Democratic field got a bit smaller last month when state Sen. Nate Boulton dropped out after three women reported incidents of sexual misconduct years ago, but there still are five candidates seeking the nomination.

The candidates are retired Des Moines-area businessman Fred Hubbell, nurse and union local president Cathy Glasson of Coralville, physician and former party chairwoman Andy McGuire of Des Moines, aide to former Gov. Tom Vilsack and former Democratic Party state chairman John Norris of Des Moines, and former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn.

Marco Battaglia, of Des Moines and Jake Porter, of Council Bluffs, are seeking the Libertarian nomination.

The winners will run against Reynolds, a two-term lieutenant governor who took the top job when Gov. Terry Branstad became ambassador to China. A general election win by Reynolds, Glasson or McGuire would be the first time Iowa elected a woman as governor.

If no candidate wins 35 percent, the nomination would be decided at a Democratic state convention.

SECRETARY OF STATE

Two Democrats vie for a place on the November ballot against incumbent Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Pate lists one of his top accomplishments as passage of a voter identification law, and that law has been the focus of much of the campaigning by Democrats Jim Mowrer and Diedre DeJear. Both argue the law that now is being implemented will discourage voting, especially by low-income and minority citizens.

Mowrer is a former intelligence analyst in the Iowa National Guard and served as special assistant to the undersecretary of the U.S. Army. He ran unsuccessfully for Congress in 2014 and 2016. DeJear is a Des Moines businesswoman who worked as Iowa African-American vote director for Barack Obama's 2012 presidential campaign.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE

Four Republicans are competing to unseat an incumbent appointed to the job.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig was appointed March 1 to succeed Bill Northey, who accepted a U.S. Department of Agriculture appointment. Naig, who grew up on a northwestern Iowa family farm, had served as deputy secretary since 2013.

The other Republicans are farmer and soybean association trade representative Ray Gaesser, hog farmer and Iowa State University extension watershed specialist Chad Ingels, dairy farmer Craig Lang, and farmer and state Sen. Dan Zumbach.

Tim Gannon, a farmer who worked for Tom Vilsack when he was governor and U.S. secretary of agriculture, is the sole Democratic candidate.

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Depending on their party, Iowa voters on Tuesday will see either a packed or sparse primary election ballot.
iowa, primary, democrat, election
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2018-05-05
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 11:05 AM
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