Nate Boulton Vows To Stay In Senate, Cites Past Drinking Issues

Nate Boulton released a statement late this afternoon saying that he planned to remain in the Iowa Senate. It’s been an open question whether the Des Moines senator would opt to stay in the Legislature following the accusations of sexually inappropriate behavior that drove him out of the gubernatorial race in late May. This announcement made clear that Boulton has no intentions of leaving his elected office. “I cannot apologize enough for the heartache caused by the stories of those who came forward in May,” Boulton said in his statement. “To those individuals, my supporters, my constituents, and my friends and […]

Jason Kander’s Army Of Voting Rights Interns Come To Iowa

Jason Kander may have a new personal electoral goal for himself now that he’s announced his candidacy for the Kansas City mayor’s race, but his voting rights crusade will march on in Iowa and other states. “Nothing has changed about our program here in Iowa,” Let America Vote’s Iowa state director Zack Davis told Starting Line yesterday. “We are continuing to move forward and are looking at ways to actually grow the internship program.” That’s a good thing for Democratic candidates in Iowa who are set to benefit from one of the largest ground game operations from a national group […]

How The Rita Hart Pick Impacts The Senate Map

With Rita Hart joining Fred Hubbell on Democrats’ statewide ticket, Hart’s Senate District 49 now becomes an open seat for the party. And while this used to be a district with a decent Democratic lean thanks to the city of Clinton’s working-class base, Donald Trump carried it 51% to 42% in 2016. Hart was still heavily favored to win thanks to her past success in the rural areas of the district, but her withdrawal could turn this into a toss-up. Democrats will have to hold a special nominating convention, probably later this month, to put a new candidate on the […]

Polk County Dems’ Turnout Numbers Should Worry GOP Incumbents

One of the best signs for Iowa Democrats coming out of last week’s primary was the sheer turnout numbers for the party across the state. Democrats broke their previous record of 148,000 votes in a statewide gubernatorial primary, producing over 176,000 votes in that race on election night (the total may climb a bit after the official canvass result). It was an optimistic sign that the party’s base is more fired up and engaged than ever ahead of the crucial 2018 election. Few places in the state was that more apparent than in Polk County, where initial turnout percentages for […]

Race To Watch: Wahls And Weiner Compete In High-Profile Senate Contest

Primary contests for open, safe legislative seats for either party often draw multiple candidates and generate serious competition. Such is certainly the case for Democrats in Senate District 37, where fundraising and spending may set a record for a legislative primary. Four Democrats are running in the Johnson and Cedar County-based seat to replace retiring Senator Bob Dvorsky. Zach Wahls and Janice Weiner are the only two with substantial support in the race, and both have put together strong campaigns. The two bring unique, compelling biographies to the table. Wahls, 26, gained national fame from his 2011 speech on the floor […]

Race To Watch: Cavanagh And James Compete For Finkenauer’s HD 99

While a lot of eyes are on Abby Finkenauer’s bid to take on Rod Blum in the 1st District, one of the biggest contests on June 5 will be between the three Democrats looking to replace her in the Iowa House. Two of those candidates, Lindsay James and Brad Cavanagh, have been locked in a tight race for the seat for well over a year. The two announced in May 2017, have raised significant funds, are impressing locals and are running strong, professional campaigns. House District 99 is a heavily-Democratic district which covers the southern and western parts of Dubuque. […]

Democrats Post Strong Fundraising Reports, Out-Raise GOP In Many Races

With all the Iowa political news that happened last week, it may have been easy to overlook some of the state legislative fundraising numbers that came out in the latest finance report. But there was a lot of interesting details in there, as well as plenty of great signs for Iowa Democrats. House Democrats were the standout winners of the latest fundraising numbers. Their candidates out-raised their Republican opponents in 42 of the 69 races where both parties had a candidate filed. First-time Democratic candidates pulled in impressive totals, including Kenan Judge of Waukee, who set a record for new […]

Community Leaders Back Connie Ryan By Wide Margin In Senate Primary

Connie Ryan has spent many long hours up at the Statehouse fighting for progressive causes, and a lot of local and statewide community leaders have liked what they’ve seen. A very long list of elected officials, activists, faith leaders, business owners, labor unions and liberal organizations have lined up behind Ryan in the high-profile primary to replace Matt McCoy in the Iowa Senate. The executive director of Interfaith Iowa since 2002, Ryan has been at the center of nearly every major policy fight in Iowa, making allies and friends along the way. She’s been a constant presence at committee hearings, […]

EMILY’s List Endorses Six Women In State Legislative Primaries

Photo: top, left to right: Molly Donahue, Lindsay James, Ann Fields. Bottom, left to right: Lori Egan, Janice Weiner, Mary Stewart. The influential pro-choice organization EMILY’s List is wading in to several state legislative primaries in Iowa. The national group announced this morning that they are endorsing six female candidates in local races: Molly Donahue (HD-68) Lori Egan (HD-56) Ann Fields (HD-28) Lindsay James (HD-99) Mary Stewart (SD-41) Janice Weiner (SD-37) Each race involves a Democratic primary (see our posts on the House and Senate primaries). Some are in highly competitive races, while others face relatively easy paths to the […]

The Republicans Most At Risk For Their Abortion Ban Vote

The 6-week abortion ban law that Republicans passed this week should get bogged down in the courts for years, but the political fallout from it will come much sooner. While some in the far-right evangelical community will be happy, most Iowans aren’t eager to see the state be known as the most restrictive in the country on women’s reproductive rights. And the further details of it – like forcing women to report a rape long before they may be comfortable doing so – could prove very politically damaging to those who voted for it. Governor Kim Reynolds’ signing of the […]