Federal spotlight: Iowa’s competitive primary races

May 5, 2016

Iowa has several candidates vying to represent their party in the General Election on Nov. 8. The following districts have competitive primaries:

U.S. Senate: The Republican nominee is six-term incumbent Sen. Charles Grassley. Democrat candidates include former legislator, state agriculture secretary and Lt. Gov. Patty Judge of Albia, current state Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids, former state Senator and U.S. Senate primary candidate Tom Fiegen of Clarence, and former state Rep. Bob Krause of Fairfield. Although national Democrat organizations are aligning with Judge, Hogg is receiving local support from elected officials, labor organizations and environmental groups.

Congressional District 1: First-term Congressman Rod Blum is the Republican nominee. The Democrat primary will feature a rematch between former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy from Dubuque and Cedar Rapids City Councilwoman and businesswoman Monica Vernon. At this time, Vernon seems to have the edge on Murphy.

Congressional District 2: The second congressional district will feature incumbent Democrat Congressman Dave Loebsack from Iowa City against Republican candidate Dr. Christopher Peters, a surgeon from Coralville and former state Senate candidate. Neither candidate has a primary challenge and this district looks to be a safe seat for the Congressional Democrats to hold.

Congressional District 3: First-term GOP Congressman David Young from Van Meter is expected to easily win his party’s nomination, although Joe Grandanette from Des Moines is once again seeking the Republican nomination. On the Democrat side there is a three-way primary between military veteran Jim Mowrer of Des Moines, who ran against Steve King two years ago in the 4th Congressional District; Desmund Adams, a former state Senate candidate from Clive, and Mike Sherzan a businessman from West Des Moines. Currently, Jim Mowrer seems to be receiving the most support from labor groups in the district.

Congressional District 4: Seven-term Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, faces a primary challenge from state Sen. Rick Bertrand of Sioux City. Polls show King currently leading Bertrand, and the incumbent has received several endorsements from state and national elected officials. Kim Weaver of Sheldon is the Democrat nominee in the fourth district.