2012 elections review: Republican convention required to select candidate for Iowa House

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June 6, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional and State legislative teams

The fast-moving primary season of May and June continued with elections in Iowa yesterday.

Here's a recap of what happened in Iowa's State Senate, State House, and Congressional races.

Contested Primaries in Iowa -- June 5, 2012
U.S. House
(4 seats)
State Legislature
(126 seats)
Total Democratic Contested Primaries 1 (25%) 10 (7.94%)
Total Republican Contested Primaries 2 (50%) 36 (28.57%)


United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa, 2012

Iowa's congressional races saw few surprises, as most incumbents won their primaries easily and without competition.

Incumbents Bruce Braley (D) of the 1st district, Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) of the 3rd district, and Steve King (R) of the 4th district all ran unopposed in their respective primaries yesterday. Braley will face Republican candidate Ben Lange in the general election after Lange defeated Rod Blum in the Republican primary.[1][2]

In the 2nd district, incumbent Dave Loebsack (D) defeated challenger Joe Seng, a current state Senator, in the Democratic primary.[3] On the Republican ticket, John Archer defeated Dan Dolan to advance to the general election. Archer will face Loebsack in the general election to decide the 2nd district seat.

In the 3rd district, incumbents Leonard Boswell (D) and Tom Latham (R) will face off for the seat in the general election after advancing unopposed through the primaries. As a result of redistricting, Iowa lost its 5th congressional district. The incumbent from that district, Steve King, is now seeking re-election in the 4th district. Latham, who previously represented the 4th district, moved out of the district to Clive, IA. The move allows him to run in the 3rd district and take on Democratic incumbent Boswell rather than face a Republican primary battle against King.[4]

Iowa's former first lady Christie Vilsack and incumbent Steve King, from the now defunct 5th district, will face off in the general election after running unopposed in their respective primaries in the 4th district. Even though each faced no competition in their respective primaries, the race has already started to heat up. Both candidates have already started to raise significant amounts of campaign funds in preparation for the heated general election battle for the 4th district seat. Vilsack reportedly had more than $900,000 on hand at the end the March, and King has more than $1 million on hand as of May 2012.[5]

Members of the U.S. House from Iowa -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 3 2
     Republican Party 2 2
Total 5 4

State legislature

Iowa State Senate elections, 2012 and Iowa House of Representatives elections, 2012


Most of the primary races were uneventful with few surprises. One incumbent lost, in a battle between two sitting lawmakers.


The most interesting result came from District 37. No GOP candidate received the required 35% of the vote in the primary. Therefore, a convention will be held in order to select a candidate for the general election. Jim Robidoux came the closest, receiving 34% of the vote in the primary.[6]

Iowa State Senate
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election'
     Democratic Party 26 26
     Republican Party 24 23
     Vacancy 1
Total 50 50

Iowa House of Representatives
Party As of November 5, 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 40 47
     Republican Party 59 53
     Vacancy 1 0
Total 100 100

See also

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