Van De Krol Drops Out Of Senate Race

Democrats are back to the drawing board in Senate District 15. Taylor Van De Krol, nominated at a special convention two weeks ago to replace Senator Chaz Allen, withdrew his candidacy with the Secretary of State’s office earlier today, that office confirmed. UPDATE: A special nominating convention will be held next Wednesday at 7:00. UPDATE: Van De Krol released the following statement late this afternoon: “I am announcing today that I have withdrawn my name as the Democratic candidate in Senate District 15 for personal reasons. “I encourage the Democrats in Jasper County and eastern Polk County to move swiftly […]

EP50: Wing Ding Analysis & Andrew Yang Interview

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with Lee Newspapers’ Erin Murphy about Michael Avenatti’s intriguing trip to Iowa, as well as an overall analysis of the Wing Ding Dinner. Plus we interview 2020 presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a New York entrepreneur, about his unique plans for the country.

Rick Bertrand Changes Mind, Runs For Reelection In Sioux City Seat

State Senator Rick Bertrand kicks off his third campaign for the Sioux City Iowa Senate seat by breaking a promise from his first: to not seek a third term. That old pledge went out the window today as Bertrand reversed course from earlier in the year and was confirmed as the party’s nominee at a special convention this evening. Bertrand passed on another run earlier in the year, holding out on a decision until just before the filing deadline to make things more difficult for the Republican leadership he had repeatedly clashed with. Republican Steven Stokes filed his paperwork to […]

Democratic Veterans Group Booted From State Fair Veterans Parade

The Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus says they’ve been marching in the State Fair Veterans Parade for the past ten years, yet were denied participation at the last minute this year from an official in Kim Reynolds’ administration. The group says they were already approved this year to join the parade, but were called on Friday by Chair of the Iowa Veterans Commission Dan Gannon, a Reynolds appointee, and told they could not participate because they were political. They were apparently not given a specific rule as to why the change was made. “We were informed Friday, after we followed the instructions […]

Abby Finkenauer’s First TV Ad Recalls Days When Politics Didn’t Divide

Abby Finkenauer will launch the first TV ads of the general election in Iowa’s nationally-watched 1st Congressional District race this Tuesday. Her first spot on the airwaves is called “Dinner Table” and focuses on a spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation. The ad begins with Finkenauer describing a typical Saturday night with her family while growing up: talking politics around the dinner table after getting back from church. “We didn’t all agree,” Finkenauer says. “But nobody walked away angry, or not family anymore. That’s how it should be – at home, and in Congress.” She goes on to explain that she’ll […]

Ep49: Reynolds Avoids Press, Election Results & Yard Signs

 Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard talks with producer Chance Dorland about Kim Reynolds’ decision to avoid press conferences, what the election results in Tuesday’s Ohio special election and Democratic primaries in Michigan and Kansas mean for Iowa, and we dig into everyone’s favorite subject: yard signs.

Zach Nunn Enters SD 15 Race, Shakes Up Both House And Senate Map

State Representative Zach Nunn announced this morning he would leave his seat in the Iowa House to run for Senate District 15, recently vacated by Senator Chaz Allen. It turns a seat that was a safe Democratic hold just a few weeks ago into one where Republicans will likely have the upper hand. But it also gives Democrats a great new opportunity in capturing a House seat in their quest to flip that chamber – and could indicate Republicans are already worried it will. Nunn is a two-term legislator from House District 30, which covers Altoona, Bondurant, Mitchellville and the […]

Former GOP Senator David Johnson Endorses Fred Hubbell

Republican-turned-independent Senator David Johnson is endorsing Fred Hubbell for governor over Kim Reynolds today, the Hubbell campaign informed Starting Line this afternoon. Johnson left the Republican Party in June of 2016 over his disgust of Donald Trump’s nomination. His backing of Hubbell over Governor Reynolds adds a new talking point for Hubbell in his attempt to win over independents and former Republicans who are frustrated with the direction of that party under Trump. “Fred Hubbell and Senator Rita Hart are the leaders Iowans need to turn the page on the Reynolds Administration’s record of failure, and restore the services and […]

Where Are The 2020 Women At? Governing, Mostly.

Here they come. A deluge of potential 2020 presidential candidates is set to make appearances throughout Iowa over the next few weeks. The lead-off caucus state has seen its fair share of White House hopefuls make the rounds here since the 2016 election, but the upcoming gauntlet of the Wing Ding Dinner, the State Fair Soapbox speeches and the coming announcement of September’s Steak Fry guests marks a new phase. August will essentially be the unofficial kick-off of full 2020 caucus campaigning. But a lot of folks have pointed out in recent days that there’s one thing missing from all […]

The State Of Iowa Races Three Months Out

Iowans will head to the voting booth three months from today on November 6 to vote in one of the most consequential elections in the state’s history. How are each of the major contests shaping up at this stage, two months after the primary and following a relatively quiet summer? Democrats have been optimistic about the chances of a “blue wave” this year, but many still held on to a good deal of skepticism given Republicans’ dominance of recent Iowa elections. Donald Trump won counties in 2016 that Republicans hadn’t carried in decades. Would things really flip back to blue […]