Not only did Iowa voters decide to send another Republican from Iowa to the U.S. Senate to join Chuck Grassley there, voters elected Republicans in three out of the four congressional races in Iowa. Congressman Steve King, a Republican from Kiron, is now the dean of Iowa’s congressional delegation, easily winning his bid for a seventh term.
“I said this a few days ago, if Joni Ernst wins and we pick up an extra House seat I think they have to paint Iowa red again,” King told Radio Iowa, “and I’m feeling pretty good about that.”
King said voters are embracing “full spectrum, constitutional conservatism.”
“We want to move back to free enterprise and a balanced budget and repeal ObamaCare, a strong national defense,” King said. “I think the positions I’ve taken for life and marriage are very well supported here.”
The lone Democratic congressional victory tonight in Iowa was in the second congressional district where Dave Loebsack of Iowa City won reelection to a fifth term.
“I’ll be the first to admit it’ll be disappointing, but at the same time I’ve been working with Republicans since I got into congress,” Loebsack said. “And, you know, we’re all Iowans and I’m going to reach out to with Joni Ernst, for example, on military affairs and veterans affairs and keep working with Steve King.”
Iowa had two open seats and Republican Rod Blum of Dubuque won in the district Democrat Bruce Braley had held, while Republican David Young of Van Meter won in the district retiring Republican Congressman Tom Latham had held.
Young finished fifth in the voting in the GOP’s June Primary, but wound up winning the party’s nomination in a special convention held at the end of June. Young told Radio Iowa it’s been an “incredible ride” but it came to down fundamentals.
“Hard work, ideas and getting in front of the voters,” Young said.
Young has spent about two decades in Washington working for members of congress, including a seven-year run as Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff before he resigned to run for office himself.
“I’m just very blessed and I take this seat very seriously and the gravity of representing the people of the third district of Iowa,” Young said. “We worked hard. We were nice. We had ideas and I think the voters of Iowa recognized that in the end.”
Blum, the Dubuque businessman who won a narrow victory in Iowa’s first congressional district, said waiting for the final results was a bit excruciating.
“We’ve been at this 585 days now, campaigning — full time, and to put that much of your heart and soul into a campaign then it comes to just a couple of hours on television watching numbers scroll by is a rather and a very intense one, to say the least,” Blum told Radio Iowa.
Blum said the key to his race was his focus on economic issues for “average, working families.”
“I don’t think I’m your average Republican…For example, crony capitalism — I’m against that,” Blum said. “I’m against corporate welfare. I’m against billion dollar corporations not paying any income tax, so I think when people hear my message they say, ‘Hey, this guy is not hyperpartisan.”
Congressman Loebsack said there are “things we all have in common” when it comes to working for Iowans.
“You know, look. I don’t just talk about bipartisanship, I practice it,” Loebsack says. “..People in the second district, people in Iowa, people across the country want the parties to work together. They want people to get things done and that’s what I did and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
Jim Mowrer of Boone is the Democrat who fell short in his challenge of Congressman King’s bid for reelection.
“Obviously the outcome this evening was not what we had hoped, but I wanted to tell my supporters that the thing that Republicans and Democrats still agree on is Washington is broken,” Mowrer told Radio Iowa this evening. “…We need to send people to Washington who want to fix that, who want to work together to get the job done.”
Mowrer is already being mentioned as a possible Democratic candidate to challenge Republican Senator Chuck Grassley’s bid for reelection in 2016
“I wouldn’t rule out anything,” Mowrer said. “…I’m going to rest up and I’m confident I’m going to continue to serve Iowa and serve my country in some capacity. That’s what I’ve always done and I’m confident that’s what I’m going to do in the future.”
While Joni Ernst broke Iowa’s glass ceiling and became the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Iowa, two other Iowa female candidates fell short in their bids for seats in the U.S. House. Staci Appel of Ackworth spoke to supporters gathered in a Des Moines hotel ballroom.
“Unfortunately, tonight we came up short of our goal and I want to congratulate David Young on becoming the next congressperson from the third district,” Appel said. “While we don’t agree on everything, I will be his constituent and so I respect his hard work on this campaign and I wish him well.”
Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an eye doctor from Ottumwa who has twice before challenged Congressman Loebsack, lost her third bid for congress last night as well.
(This post was updated at 12:25 a.m. & again at 12:55 a.m. with additional information.)