District of the Day: Senate District 9, House District 17 and 18
Senate District 9
Registration: D 11268, R 14356, N 13689, total 39330, R+ 3088
Incumbents: Nancy Boettger, R-Harlan and James Seymour, R-Woodbine
Boettger has had uneventful contests since she was first elected in 1994, with no opposition at all in 2006 and 2010 in old district 29.
Seymour has had a, well, more interesting history. His old seat, Senate 28, was empty in 2002 so it had a two year race; he won with 49 percent in a three-corner contest. Anyone know the deal there? He's been unopposed since, which was really lucky in 2008, when late in the cycle news surfaced of a 2002 arrest for soliciting prostitution. One of the reasons a party needs a candidate in every district; write-ins got 11%.
Enough of the dirt. Let's look at the lines. The new turf is mostly Seymour's: Harrison, Monona, Ida, most of Crawford, and some leftover rural bits of east Woodbury (which shift a little). It loses some bits of rural Pottawattamie and adds Boettger's home county, Shelby, and nothing else from her current district, though she had Harrison back in the 1990s. Boettger's 2000s district ran south and east into Audubon, Guthrie, Cass and Adair.
Guthrie and Adair are placed with much of Dallas County in an open, Republican friendly district 10. But Boettger lives on a family farm with a bed and breakfast, and has firmly said from Map Day on that she's not moving.
Neither Boettger or Seymour have had a contested test with the voters in ten years. Boettger's likely betting that, if it comes to it, she could take him in a primary on his turf. As for my bet, it's for a retirement, quiet or with party pressure, from Seymour. Boettger would then hold over till 2014.
The district's two House members aren't paired, and don't have to move, but both will need to get to know some new constituents.
House District 17
Registration: D 5778, R 7536, N 6958, total 20283, R+ 1758
Incumbent: Matt Windschitl, R-Missouri Valley
The Legislature's leading advocate for a gun hidden in every pocket, Windschitl won the seat by knocking off Paul Wilderdyke in a 2006 primary challenge from the right. He easily shot down (heh) a couple Democratic challenges, then went unopposed in 2010.
Windschitl gets a lot of different turf but gains a few hundred Republicans. The old seat had all of Harrison County, most of Monona, and a little of rural north Pottawattamie. This map, he loses all of PottCo and eastern Harrison, but gets all of Monona. He also picks up parts of rural Woodbury and all of Ida, and about 600 Republicans, from the guy in our next district...
House District 18
Registration: D 5490, R 6820, N 6731, total 19047, R+ 1330
Incumbent: Jason Schultz, R-Schleswig
Schultz won the seat in a contested 2008 primary, where he was seen as the more conservative candidate. (Incumbent Clarence Hoffman had been squeezed out by Iowas For Tax Relief.) Democrats have not bothered to oppose Schultz either term. The district is centered on Denison and western Crawford County. It used to go north into Ida, now it goes south and gets all of Shelby County. The line changes cost Schultz about 300 Republicans.
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