All five Iowa Congressmen easily won re-election Tuesday. In the First Congressional District, Jim Leach — the republican incumbent — captured 62 percent of the vote. His democrat challenger, Bob Simpson of Iowa City, got 36 percent. Leach has been chairman of the House Banking Committee for six years, and may shift to lead the International Relations Committee, as Republicans in Congress enforce six-year “term limits” on committee chairmanships. The race was marked by an agreement under which both candidates agreed not to run radio or television advertisements. Simpson says the answer to the escalating influence of special interests is to establish non-profit corporations in each congressional district which would buy the broadcast time necessary for the candidates. In Iowa’s Second District, Jim Nussle — the republican incumbent — beat democrat Donna Smith of Dubuque, 55 to 44 percent. Smith and Nussle competed against one another in the ’96 election, and Nussle narrowly won that contest. This time around, Nussle carried every county in the district, which he’s never done before. Smith, who is a Dubuque County Supervisor, did not return Radio Iowa’s calls on election night. Leonard Boswell of Davis City, the lone democrat in Iowa’s Congressional delegation, easily won re-election to Congress by a 63 to 34 percent margin over republican Jay Marcus of Fairfield. It’s Boswell’s third term in Congress, representing the third congressional district. Marcus says he’ll continue his fight against the “conflict of interest” he sees in the Iowa Farm Bureau. Marcus says the Farm Bureau can’t represent both family farms and corporate interests. In Iowa’s fourth congressional district, republican incumbent Greg Ganske of Des Moines won re-election, beating democrat challenger Mike Huston of Des Moines 61 to 37 percent. Ganske is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate in 2002 against Tom Harkin, the democrat incumbent. Huston announced Tuesday night he will run for the congressional seat again in two years. The district’s boundaries will be re-drawn by then as a result of the re-apportionment Iowa Legislators will make based on data from the 2000 Census. The most lop-sided win in Iowa’s congressional races came in the fifth district, where republican incumbent Tom Latham of Alexander beat democrat Mike Palecek of Sheldon, 69 to 29 percent. Latham, like Ganske, is considering a run for the U.S. Senate. Latham is also considering returning to state politics and running for Governor against first-term incumbent Tom Vilsack. Palecek raised less than $6000 for his campaign, and says he never considered the odds against him, but considered the issues instead.
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