Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

By Pat Rynard

July 17, 2017

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase.

It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or individual factions that can narrow the field behind the scenes. There’s also simply a greater desire to run for office in reaction to the all-Republican government in Iowa and the national level, as well as a sense that 2018 could be a good year for Democrats if Trump’s legislation and personal missteps cause an electoral backlash.

Starting Line thought it would be helpful to put together a full list of everyone who has declared their candidacy, is in the exploratory phase, or who is strongly considering it. I’ll update this post best I can as situations change.

And on a side note: It has become challenging to cover this many candidates. Typically I do a profile piece on most of the major contenders for key offices, rolled out as they announce. Those posts take a lot of time as I try to take extra care with a story that describes in-depth a person’s life story. It’s been difficult to get those done and also cover events and breaking Iowa news – those stories may be shorter now and I’m making tough decisions on who to cover. Things should get easier once the announcement phase of 2018 is finished.

And now, here’s the list of the candidates, announced and considering, for major Iowa offices in 2018:

Governor – Democrat

Nate Boulton
Cathy Glasson
Fred Hubbell
Andy McGuire
John Norris
Ross Wilburn

Governor – Republican

Kim Reynolds

Governor – Libertarian
Jake Porter
Marco Battaglia

1st District – Democrats

Abby Finkenauer
Thomas Heckroth
George Ramsey III
Courtney Rowe

2nd District – Republicans

Chris Peters
Ginny Caligiuri (as a write-in now)

3rd District – Democrats

Cindy Axne
Pete D’Alessandro
Eddie Mauro

4th District – Democrats

Leann Jacobsen
J.D. Scholten
John Paschen

Secretary of State – Democrats

Deidre DeJear
Jim Mowrer

State Auditor – Democrats

Rob Sand

Secretary of Agriculture – Democrats

Tim Gannon

Secretary of Agriculture – Republicans

Ray Gaesser
Chad Ingels
Craig Lang
Dan Zumbach
Mike Naig


Suspended Campaign/Decided Against Running:
Mike Sherzan, 3rd District
Anna Ryon, 3rd District
Stacey Walker, 1st District
Brent Oleson, 1st District
Kim Weaver, 4th District
Dirk Deam, 4th District
Rich Leopold, Governor
Mike Matson, Governor
Mike Carberry, Governor
Liz Mathis, Governor
Nathan Blake, Secretary of State
Travis Weipert, Secretary of State
Jamie Fitzgerald, Secretary of State
Todd Prichard, Governor
Jeff Danielson, 1st District
Brent Roske, Governor, independent
Heather Ryan, 3rd District
Jonathan Neiderbach, Governor, Democrat
Steven Ray, Governor, Republican
Austin Frerick, 3rd District
Paul Knupp, 3rd District
Ron Corbett, Governor, Republican
Theresa Greenfield, 3rd District, Democrat


Shoot me an email if I forgot someone or you have an update. Also: I am only including people who have shown some sort of tangible activity, either in public or behind the scenes: setting up websites, attending many events, talking with donors, prospecting for staff, filing official papers, etc.


by Pat Rynard
Posted 7/17/17

  • Pat Rynard

    Pat Rynard founded Iowa Starting Line in 2015. He is now Courier Newsroom's National Political Editor, where he oversees political reporters across the country. He still keeps a close eye on Iowa politics, his dog's name is Frank, and football season is his favorite time of year.



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