District of the Day: Senate District 7, House District 12 and 13
Senate District 7
Registration: D 11452, R 8628, N 9970, total 30094, D+ 2824
Incumbent: Rick Bertrand, R-Sioux City
It's an all-freshman delegation in the core Sioux City districts, where five legislators retired last year. Not much change in the lines, but what change there is pairs two legislators and could prompt some counter-intuitive moving.
Republican Rick Bertrand lost a close `08 House race to Democrat Roger Wendt. He switched to the Senate race when Democrat Steve Warnstadt retired in 2010, and beat Democratic activist Rick Mullin by just 222 votes.
The new district changes little: a slight line shift on the south, picking up two precincts and a rural township added on the east, but the party balance stays almost identical.
Bertrand's fate may depend on the cycle, but with an odd numbered seat he gets the lower turnout gubernatorial year, and Woodbury is historically a low turnout county.
House District 13
Registration: D 5494, R 4646, N 5097, total 15260, D+ 848
Incumbents: Chris Hall, D-Sioux City; Jeremy Taylor, R-Sioux City
House District 14
Registration: D 5958, R 3982, N 4873, total 14834, D+ 1976
The new map splits Sioux City into roughly the same three districts - east, west, and south - as 2001, with the line between east and west shifting. But the shifts place Republican Jeremy Taylor, who had been west of the line, east of the line and paired with Democrat Chris Hall. Both new seats lean Democratic, the west side's 14 more so, and both legislators won by similar, 600ish vote margins in 2010.
Taylor looked like a winner for a few hours on Election Night 2008, until absentees put him 280 votes short of Wes Whitead in old House District 2. He came back to take the seat in 2010. That district had a Democratic registration edge of 1664.
Hall took over when Wendt retired in ill health (he passed away in late March this year). Hall beat Republican Cate Bryan, who had won a high-spending, recount-close primary.
So who goes where? Basically, Republican Taylor has been drawn into Democrat Hall's district. Only one precinct moved, and it was Taylor's. But the empty district, with more of Taylor's old turf, has more Democrats. If 14 stays empty, a couple of 2010 candidates could try again: David Dawson, Taylor's opponent, or Rick Mullin, who started `10 in a house race until Steve Warnstadt announced his retirement.
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