The players in the major party battle for control of the legislature became clearer as the list of candidates for the House and Senate was set Friday. Candidates had to file nomination petitions by five o’clock yesterday to have their names put on the ballot. Republicans today hold a majority of the seats in the House and Senate, and House Republican Leader Christopher Rants of Sioux City is expressing confidence about the G-O-P’s chances. He says they’ll have a full slate of candidates that he says are quality candidates.But democrats hope to make gains, and win a majority of seats in the legislature in November. House Democrat Leader Dick Myers of Iowa City says they also have a good slate of candidates. Myers says they’ll continue recruiting candidates that they can nominate at their convention.Senate Democrat Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says last Tuesday’s special election victory by a democrat in a Senate district should worry republicans. Gronstal says the republicans were trounced in a district that was 31-percent democratic, 29-percent republican and 38-percent independent. Gronstal says the democrat message beat the republican message in that race.Legislators are running in newly-drawn districts, so that makes for a more volatile election year as even incumbents must introduce themselves to new voters. Legislative districts were re-drawn using 2000 Census data to account for population shifts. Here are the numbers: There are 35 senate races. Democrats fielded candidates in 29 of those districts; republicans have candidates in 26. All 100 seats in the House are up. Democrats fielded 96 candidates in 80 districts; republicans have 93 candidates in 76 of the districts. For a listing of all the candidates, go to www.sos.state.ia.us on the Internet. An icon in the upper right corner will lead you to the list.
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