District of the Day: Senate District 5, House District 9 and 10
Senate District 5
Registration: D 12,744, R 12,705, N 15,365, total 40,846, D+ 39
Incumbent: Daryl Beall, D-Ft. Dodge
Beall won a third term last year in old district 25 with 54%. Beall loses about 900 Democrats and gets a dead-even district that votes on the lower turnout gubernatorial cycle. The new seat keeps Ft. Dodge and Calhoun County but loses Greene County to the south and instead goes go north into Pocahontas and Humboldt. Beall has till 2014 to get to know those new constituents.
The Senate district is polarized between a Democratic half and an equally GOP part.
House District 9
Registration: D 7625, R 5253, N 6484, total 19378, D+ 2372
Incumbent: Helen Miller, D-Ft. Dodge
Update September 11: Alcazar running again.
Very little change for Miller in the district she's held since 2002. She keeps her entire old district and adds three townships to maintain roughly the same Democratic edge. This is one of those ones where the district lines practically draw themselves. An ideal House district size is 30,538, and the Ft. Dodge census population is 25,206.
Miller won with a surprisingly close 52% last time against Matt Alcazar, a tea partier opponent who had started out running as an independent. Speaking of tea partiers who started out running as independents...
House District 10
Registration: D 5119, R 7452, N 8881, total 21468, R+ 2333
Incumbents: Tom Shaw, R-Laurens, and Dave Tjepkes, R-Gowrie
Tom Shaw, who first announced his 2010 run as an independent, won an epic primary and then took over with ease in the general as conservaDem Dolores Mertz retired. Shaw, age 49, has taken the hard-right approach along with fellow freshmen Glen Massie and Kim Pearson: uber-purist on abortion, joining the late session Supreme Court impeachment effort. He keeps his native Pocahontas County and Humboldt, but loses the city of Algona and southern Kossuth.
Tjepkes, age 67, hails from Gowrie in rural Webster County. He first won old district 50 in the last year lines were redone, 2002. He keeps Calhoun County but loses all of Greene County, which instead goes with Boone County into freshman Republican Chip Baltimore's seat. Tjepkes was was a 64% winner in 2008 and unopposed in 2010.
Tjepkes took the opposite approach to Shaw on marriage equality, as one of four House Republicans who did not co-sponsor the constitutional amendment (though he, along with all Republicans and sadly three Democrats, ended up voting for it). This had some folks talking primary challenge even before the map came out.
The two paired incumbents are from opposite corners of the district. The new seat is more Republican than either of the old seats. With the Senate seat on the odd cycle, a run at Beall is only an option if one of the two House members stands down for two years. Tjepkes could go east into new 48, where technically Democrat Lisa Heddens lives (but she's expected to go with most of her voters in the open 46 in Ames), but there's very little overlap with the old Tjepkes turf and it's a swing seat.
Shaw could go north a couple miles into the open district 2, but there's no overlap at all with his old turf and, while it's a good GOP district, the new one he's in is better. Shaw didn't back down from a contested primary last time, and the tea party favorite beat Stephen Richards, the main-chance doctor who had fallen only 42 votes short of Mertz in 2008.
On Map Day, Tjepkes said he was inclined to run, while Shaw declined comment. desmoinesdem bets on party establishment support leading to a Tjepkes primary win, but in a GOP primary my money is always on the crazy.
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