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Loebsack makes re-election hopes in new 2nd District official
U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) made clear Thursday that his intentions are to move the few miles necessary to seek re-election in the proposed new 2nd District. The announcement came only moments after state lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the first redistricting proposal offered by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
Due to 2010 Census figures, Iowa’s federal fortunes have waned from five congressional districts to four. The map provided by the LSA places Loebsack’s current home county of Linn into the 1st Congressional District where U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Black Hawk County Democrat, is the incumbent.
Republican U.S. Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham have also seen their home counties combined in the newly proposed 4th District. There is no word yet on if the two plan a primary face-off, if one will not seek re-election or if one will move into one of the other proposed congressional districts. Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell is the only incumbent that resides in the newly drawn 3rd District.
The Iowa House approved the new map on a 90-to-7 vote, sending it to the Senate, where it was also approved on a 48-to-1 vote. Gov. Terry Branstad has not yet gone on record with his intentions toward the the redistricting proposal, but is not anticipated to veto the legislative approval.
Loebsack said that he and his wife, Terry, will move to Johnson County, and that he will seek re-election in the congressional district that includes 14 of the 15 counties he has represented since 2006. The Loebsacks currently reside in Mount Vernon, which is only a few miles from line that separates Linn and Johnson counties and the new boundary between the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts.
“Now more than ever, we must stand together — fighting against a Republican Congress that seeks to undermine all the progress we have made in recent years,” Loebsack said in a prepared statement about his candidacy. “If they had their way, they’d jeopardize seniors’ hard-earned health care and privatize Medicare, while giving special tax breaks to oil and insurance companies. I’ll never stop fighting for what’s right — putting Iowa’s interests ahead of the special interests.”
Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn said the new map “lays the groundwork for a Republican majority in both the Iowa House and Senate for the next decade.”
“Ultimately, it is not arbitrary geographic lines, but rather a consistent message of policies focused on limited government, personal responsibility and individual freedom that will be central to the continued Republican resurgence in Iowa,” Strawn said.
“With respect to the congressional districts, I am confident that more Iowans will be represented in Congress by a Republican under this map than are today. Congressman Boswell’s district becomes more Republican and conservative at a time when his voting record is increasingly liberal. I am also confident that Iowa Republicans will continue building on the broad gains seen in Eastern Iowa over the last two years and will be on offense in waging aggressive challenges in those two districts.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky, not surprisingly, saw advantages for Democrats under the new map also also praised the nonpartisan process for redistricting in Iowa.
“With these new district boundaries, Democrats are ready to run aggressive campaigns in the coming election cycles to maintain our majority in the Iowa Senate, retake the Iowa House, and maintain a Democratic majority in our congressional delegation,” she said. “We will work to field qualified candidates in every district who will work to focus the legislature on job creation and economic growth, not a divisive agenda as Republicans have during this session.”
(Editor’s Note: Updated at 11 a.m. to include Dvorsky’s comments.)