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A look ahead at 2014 state executive elections in Iowa

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July 19, 2013

Iowa

By Greg Janetka

DES MOINES, Iowa: In 2014, Iowa voters will head to the polls to elect seven state executive positions: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, and Agriculture Commissioner.

Five of the seven positions are currently held by Republicans and two are held by Democrats. Democrats currently have a 26-24 majority in the state Senate, while Republicans control the House 53-47.

Here's a preview of the statewide offices up for election in 2014:

Governor

Republican incumbent Terry E. Branstad has the distinction of being the state's longest serving governor as well as the longest serving governor in U.S. History. He has currently served in the position since 2011 and previously held the office from 1983-1999.[1] Branstad has continued to raise money and add staff to his campaign team, but has not said if he will seek another term.[2]

Potential contenders for the Democratic nomination include state Rep. Tyler Olson, state Senators Jeff Danielson, Mike Gronstal, Jack Hatch and Liz Mathis, former Governor of Arkansas Chet Culver, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley.[3][4]

Lieutenant Governor

Kim Reynolds (R), a former state senator, was elected as Lieutenant Governor on a ticket with Gov. Terry Branstad in 2010. A February 2013 article in Governing named her as one of the top state Republican officials to watch in 2013.[5]

Reynolds is eligible for re-election, but has yet to announce her intentions in the race. Earlier this year she explored a bid for U.S. Senate, but ultimately dismissed it saying she had not finished the work she was elected to do with Branstad. She did, however, say she is ready for a higher role, stating, "I'm ready to step out. I'm just not ready to leave what I'm doing. I'm not ready to walk away from the things I've not finished yet.”[6]

Secretary of State

Republican Matt Schultz has served as Iowa Secretary of State since 2011. Like Reynolds, Schultz was also a potential candidate for the U.S. Senate seat in 2014. He announced on May 29, 2013 that he would not be running for the seat,[7] choosing instead to seek re-election.[8]

So far, Schultz has one declared opponent in the race - political consultant and ex- gubernatorial aide Brad Anderson threw his hat into the ring, seeking the Democratic nomination.[9][10]

Attorney General

Incumbent Tom Miller (D) has spent some 30 years as Iowa Attorney General, serving from 1979-1991 and currently since 1995. He is eligible for re-election but has not yet made his intentions in the race known.

Treasurer

Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald is also a long serving Democratic incumbent, having held the office since 1982. While he has not yet made his 2014 plans known, Fitzgerald said he is "seriously considering" a bid for governor.[11]

Auditor

Mary Mosiman is the current Republican Iowa Auditor of State.[12] She was appointed to the post by Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on May 13, 2013 following the early departure of 10 year officeholder David Vaudt. Vaudt's current term was set to expire in January of 2015, however he[13] announced on April 4, 2013 that he would be resigning as Auditor on May 3 in order to become chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board.[14]

Mosiman, a CPA, is the first woman to hold the office of state auditor in Iowa history. She is running for election to a full term as auditor in the 2014 elections.[12]

Secretary of Agriculture

Bill Northey (R) is currently in his second term as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. He also considered a run for U.S. Senate in 2014, but ultimately declined, tweeting, "I have decided not to run for US #Senate. Thx for many kind, encouraging words. Hoping Congr King runs. Other good R candidates as well."[15]

This past week he announced he would seek re-election. As of yet no Democratic challengers have stepped forth.[16]

See also

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References