One more reminder that the Iowa primary is next Tuesday, June 7th from 7AM to 9PM.
The big draw for democratic primary voters across the state this year is the opportunity to choose an opponent for Chuck Grassley for this falls election.
Even before Grassley’s strange behavior concerning filling the SCOTUS vacancy left by the death of Antonin Scalia four or five months ago, Grassley’s behavior during this term has been that of the ultimate party insider whose first concern is how any move will affect the party. With the death of Scalia Grassley who has been obstructor-in-chief behind the scenes for senate Republicans has deservedly become the national face of Republican obstruction and the face of a do nothing Congress.
As I write this the Republicans are once again on recess while a critical health situation with the zika virus looms. Returning Republicans to power in the senate and Grassley to his role as obstructor-in-chief would seem to be the height of irresponsibility.
But who will Iowans choose to take Grassley’s place? The race seems to be between current state senator from Cedar Rapids, Rob Hogg and former state senator, agricultural secretary and Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge. Judge stirred up some excitement when she entered the race in February as Grassley stumbled and bumbled in his attempts to make his obstruction look acceptable. Grassley’s obstruction is still not acceptable.
Hogg has been in the race for the long haul having entered last fall. While Judge’s entry has stirred much press around the country and some contributions from everywhere, buzz on the ground feels light. I have seen no polls for Tuesday’s vote but my guess is that it will be close. If you want to see Grassley back on the farm as much as most of us do, be sure to vote. Former state senators and good solid democrats Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen are also vying for the nomination.
Besides the senate primary across the state, 3 of our 4 congressional districts will see primaries to choose opponents to face Iowa’s three really bad Republican congress persons.
In the 4th district the Democrats candidate Kim Weaver doesn’t have a challenger. Republican Steve King does, however. In a intra-party fight at the upper levels that seems to have spilled down to this level state senator Rick Bertrand is running against the long time incumbent King. Whatever the results of that race, look for Kim Weaver to give her opponent a tough race. This year I wouldn’t count any district as a “safe Republican” even Iowa’s 4th. King is a known whacko in a party that will be lead by a reality TV personality this year. Maybe his luck has run out.
In the southwest corner of Iowa, three democrats are looking to take on one term incumbent David Young. Young is very vulnerable, especially after his embarrassingly being forced to change his vote to oppose an LGBT amendment last week. Vying to oppose Young are:
In Iowa’s northeast corner incumbent Rod Blum seems very, very vulnerable. Blum is a tea partier and doesn’t seem to quite fit in this more progressive district. The Democrats have a couple of good candidates, either of which should give Mr. Blum a good tussle. The Democrats:
Finally those who live in Iowa southeast corner have the pleasure of putting forth Congressmember Dave Loebsack for another couple of years. But just because Loebsack is an incumbent by no means means that this election is to be taken lightly. We need to keep Loebsack’s vote in Washington. This has been a really crazy year, so those in the southeast need to nominate Loebsack for another term and then work like hell to make sure he is re-elected.
We shouldn’t need to remind you that races at the state and county levels will probably have more effect on your day to day life than votes for national representatives, so pay attention and be sure to choose good candidates for state House, state senate and of course for county officials such as auditors, sheriffs and supervisors.
This primary is very important. democrats need to put their best candidates forward. Be sure to set your smart phones to remind you to vote Tuesday.