Rob Sand Regains Lead, May Yet Hold On Amid Iowa’s Red Wave

By Pat Rynard

November 9, 2022

Late on Tuesday night, it appeared that State Auditor Rob Sand would suffer the same fate as all the other statewide Democratic candidates. Sand had fallen behind by over 10,000 votes to Republican Todd Halbur, while fellow Democratic incumbents Tom Miller and Mike Fitzgerald lost even more ground in their races.

As the night wore on, some Iowa Republicans in the state started crowing about Sand being defeated.

But there was a problem: Linn County hadn’t yet reported any of its early vote numbers, nor about half of its election-day precincts. The county was only reporting around 36,000 total votes, while in the last midterm election in 2018, about 100,000 votes were cast there.

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After midnight, the full results finally came in, and Sand pulled out to a 20,000-vote lead in Linn County. As of 2:00 AM, Sand now held a 598,617 to 595,448 statewide vote lead over Halbur.

Two more issues remain.

Secretary of State Paul Pate announced in the early morning that he was calling on Des Moines and Warren counties to conduct administrative recounts due to some technical errors. It looks like their full vote counts have not yet been added to the statewide total yet, and are only partially reporting.

It appears that in Des Moines County, the early vote has not been included, which would favor Democrats. The Secretary of State website early Wednesday morning showed Sand trailing Halbur by about 700 votes there, but Sand had carried Des Moines County by 2,200 in 2018. So, it’s likely that Sand will pick up more votes than Halbur there once the ballots are counted and added to the statewide total.

In Warren County, where it appeared there were only a few thousand outstanding votes, Sand is slightly ahead of where he was in 2018.

Starting Line will have more on this race in the morning.


by Pat Rynard

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  • 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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