February 14, 2016

5 p.m. today is deadline to place candidate names on 2014 primary ballot

Candidates have until five o’clock tonight to submit the paperwork to get their names on the June Primary ballot.

Candidates for state and federal office have to collect petition signatures — the number of signatures required vary for each office — and deliver those petitions to the Secretary of State’s office in Des Moines.  In addition to the candidates for governor, the U.S. Senate and congress, candidates in 125 legislative races are completing the process and legislative leaders from both major parties are claiming supremacy in candidate recruitment.

Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs: “We are very, very encouraged by the candidates who have come forward in these districts: small business people, attorneys, people with a background in education. We’ve got lots of great candidates out there running in key districts.”

Senate Republican Whip Jack Whitver of Ankeny: “We have a broad and diverse group of candidates from all kinds of different backgrounds: business leaders, civic leaders, military veterans. We feel very good about our candidates and we feel very good about the mood and the energy in our party right now.”

Democrats now hold 26 seats in the Iowa Senate and Republicans hold 24. In the House, Republicans are in the majority with 53 seats and Democrats hold 47.

House Republican Leader Linda Upmeyer of Clear Lake: “We’re excited about the candidates that have filed. We are very pleased with the opportunity we’re presented with in the fall to grow the Republican majority in the House.”

House Democratic Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown: “We’re very pleased with the people that we’ve recruited. We have some people coming in with great talent. We’re going to take back the House with this group of people.”

In 2014 elections will be held for all 100 seats in the Iowa House, as state representatives serve two-year terms. There will be 25 senate races, as state senators serve four-year terms and the other 25 senators won’t face a reelection race until 2016.

Four senators have decided to retire rather than run for reelection in 2014.  The retiring senators are Dennis Black of Lynnville, Nancy Boettger of Harlan, Sandy Greiner of Washington and Hubert Houser of Carson. At the close of business Thursday records in the secretary of state’s office indicate Senator Whitver faces a Republican primary challenger. Three senate Democrats — Joe Seng of Davenport, Herman Quirmbach of Ames and Wally Horn of Cedar Rapids — face primaries, too.

According to records posted on the secretary of state’s website Thursday evening, five Republican members of the Iowa House face primaries. They are Representatives Stan Gustafson of Cumming, Greg Heartsill of Columbia, Dave Heaton of Mount Pleasant, Jake Highfill of Johnston and Walt Rogers of Cedar Falls. Rogers was running for congress, but decided two weeks ago to seek reelection to the House and now must face the Republican who had stepped forward to run in that legislative district when Rogers was running for congress.

Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, both Democrats, and Republicans Bill Northey, the state ag secretary, and Mary Mosiman, the state auditor, have all filed to run for the same office in 2014 and none face a primary challenger.

Republican Governor Terry Branstad submitted his petition signatures on February 25th.  Jack Hatch, the Democrat from Des Moines who’s been running for governor, says he plans to deliver his petitions sometime today.

In the closely watched U.S. Senate race, five Republicans have submitted their paperwork to have their names on the June Primary ballot.  They are Sam Clovis of Hinton, Joni Ernst of Red Oak, Mark Jacobs of West Des Moines, Scott Schaben of Ames and Matt Whitaker of Clive.

The only Democrat running for the U.S. Senate is Bruce Braley of Waterloo.  There are crowded primaries in the first congressional district, the seat Braley currently holds, and in the third district as Republican Tom Latham of Clive announced in December he would not seek re-election to congress.

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