Iowans will elect five members of the United States Congress in Tuesday’s election. Four incumbents are running, and Republican Congressman Jim Leach of Iowa City is considered among the nation’s most vulnerable. He doesn’t accept political action committee contributions, and his Democrat opponent, Julie Thomas, has raised more campaign cash as a result. Thomas has been a pediatrician in Cedar Rapids for the past 27 years, and she’s using the network of people who used to be her patients to help turn out the vote. Democrats say the candidate who has the second-best shot at unseating a Congressman is Ann Hutchinson, the Bettendorf mayor who is running against Republican Congressman Jim Nussle of Manchester, current chairman of the House Budget Committee. Republican Congressman Tom Latham of Alexander faces his toughest election battle ever against Democrat John Norris of Ames, a long-time Democrat party operative who most recently served as Governor Vilsack’s chief of staff. The other incumbent Congressman in Iowa is Leonard Boswell, a Democrat who moved from rural southwest Iowa to Des Moines to run for reelection. Boswell faces Des Moines lawyer Stan Thompson, the Republican candidate in the Third Congressional district. The new Fifth Congressional district encompasses 32 western Iowa counties, and have 58-thousand more registered Republican voters which gives a big edge to Steve King, the Republican candidate from Kiron. Paul Shomshor, a former Council Bluffs city councilman, is the Democrat candidate in that sprawling district.
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