Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

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 […]

Troy Price Is Running For Iowa Democrats Chair

Longtime Iowa Democratic political staffer Troy Price announced this afternoon that he’s running to be chair of the state party, which was vacated when Derek Eadon resigned late last month. The election for the position will be on July 22 at the IDP State Central Committee meeting. Price would bring a wealth of experience in Iowa politics to the job. He was the executive director of the party during the 2014 cycle, he ran the LGBT organization One Iowa, worked on multiple presidential campaigns, including as Hillary Clinton’s state political director in 2016, and served in roles in the Vilsack […]

Time For A Change In Democratic Campaigns

After months of abated breath, we can add two more moral victories to our trophy case. Archie Parnell ended with a closer margin than did Jon Ossoff, despite the millions and millions of dollars difference in their campaign expenditures. Disappointing, to say the least. If you haven’t already, go and read this article by Pat. His piece is the right mix of hopeful and analytical, and was also the material which inspired me to write this article. Again, I encourage you to read the writing in full, but there was one statement in particular on which I’d like to elaborate […]

Who Might Run For IDP Chair Now?

With the unexpected departure of Derek Eadon from the Iowa Democratic Party’s top job due to health reasons, Democrats face another big, uncertain election. Last January’s election for IDP chair was the first time in a very long time where an actual competition for the position took place. Typically the top Democratic incumbent, like Tom Harkin or Tom Vilsack, hand-picked the chair. It’s very likely the party will be in for another crowded free-for-all on July 22, when the State Central Committee meets to choose Eadon’s replacement. So who might run? The progressive wing of the party is tossing around […]

Derek Eadon Resigns As Iowa Democrats Chair

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Derek Eadon will step down as the head of the state party today, Starting Line has learned from multiple sources. IDP 1st Vice Chair Andrea Phillips will serve as the temporary chair and an election to fill the position permanently will be held at the State Central Committee meeting on July 22. An email explaining the situation was sent out to members of the SCC late this morning in which Eadon announced he was resigning. He said he had been dealing with serious health issues in recent months that had been keeping him out of the […]

All These “Moral Victories” Sure Are Demoralizing

Another night, another round of Democratic losses. Two this time, with Jon Ossoff and Archie Parnell’s defeats. Democrats are getting awfully good at losing. We lose special elections. We lose regular elections. We lose nail-biters. We lose landslides. More optimistic Democrats than myself point to Democratic over-performance in these contests versus past races, arguing it predicts a coming blue wave in 2018. And sure, the last Republican in Georgia’s 6th won by 23 points last November. But that was a longtime incumbent up against an underfunded opponent. And Trump only won the district by one point. Ossoff underperformed Clinton’s margin even […]

What Candidate Profile Will Voters Want In 2018?

What will general election voters be looking for in 2018? And will Democratic primary voters consider that? If you look at the political situation in Iowa and nationally right now and are positive that you have the answer, you’re probably fooling yourself. A week in politics is a lifetime, and we’ve got 73 more of them until November 8, 2018. Any number of things could shift the mood of the electorate – in favor of Democrats, in favor of Republicans, or in favor of a certain type or profile of candidate. Recall that after John Kerry’s defeat in 2004, many […]

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Jeff Merkley To Headline Progress Iowa Event

Progress Iowa announced their headline speakers for their annual Corn Feed fundraiser this year: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Congressman Dave Loebsack will join them on stage. They’ll be part of a large speaker list, as every gubernatorial and congressional candidate have been invited as well. In past years nearly every major candidate has attended. The progressive messaging organization’s events often offer a chance for Democrats with national ambitions to speak before an Iowa crowd. Merkley’s name has been mentioned in the very wide potential field for 2020. He was the only senator to […]

Are Iowa Democrats Headed For A Gubernatorial Convention?

Just a couple months ago, Iowa Democrats were wondering if we’d have more than one or two candidates in the race for governor in 2018. Now, about one year out from the primary, we’re up to nine contenders who have either officially declared or have set up an exploratory committee. Of the four people exploring (Mike Matson, Fred Hubbell, John Norris and Cathy Glasson), Hubbell sounds certain to do a full run and Glasson is extremely likely. Norris should make an official decision very soon. Where will this incredibly crowded field leave Democrats next year? Quite possibly in a contested state convention […]

Indivisible Scores First Win In Iowa With City Council Victory

Democrats in Iowa got some encouraging news with a special election city council win last night in the small, rural town of Solon. The race in rural Johnson County certainly wasn’t the biggest campaign battle ever, but it proved that relatively new, progressive activists could run for local office and win with a concerted campaign effort. Lauren Whitehead, who helped start Iowa’s statewide Indivisible chapter, defeated incumbent Dale Snipes 64% to 36% in a special election to fill the remainder of the term that Snipes had been appointed to. Whitehead, 36, has been involved in local Iowa campaigns for a few cycles, […]