Harkin says he’s encouraged by this week’s primary defeat of a republican state senator from northwest Iowa — Ken Veenstra of Orange City lost to a political newcomer. Harkin says Veenstra “led the charge” for a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, led opposition for a gay man Governor Vilsack nominated to the state Board of Education and was “almost pathological in his zeal to change our constitution and to infuse an air of intolerance in the state.”The proposed constitutional change was defeated and Veenstra was rejected, even in his hometown, which Harkin says indicates good things about Iowa. “We want to be a tolerant state. We want to welcome diversity and we believe in individual liberty and individual freedom for all people.” Sioux Center economics professor Dave Mulder, also a republican, defeated Veenstra in Tuesday’s vote. Veenstra had been in the state legislature ten years.