Republicans held on to a very narrow majority of seats in both houses of the Iowa Legislature. It looks like republicans won 51 of the 100 seats in the Iowa House compared to the 49 won by democrats. And while it looks like republicans will hold 26 of the 50 seats in the Iowa Senate, they may not have a working majority. State Senator Chuck Larson, Junior, of Cedar Rapids was called to active duty and missed all of the 2004 legislative session and there’s no indication of when he might return. That means republicans would have just 25 votes in the Senate. To pass a bill, you need 26. Nevertheless, the G-O-P will be able to control the debate agenda in both the House and Senate because they hold a majority of the seats. House Speaker Christopher Rants, a republican from Sioux City, spoke to Radio Iowa shortly after midnight. “The margin’s a lot closer than I’d like but I’m not entirely surprised,” Rants said. “We watched (groups like) moveon.org and ACT (America Coming Together) come in and spend four-and-a-half MILLION dollars in the state. They didn’t get it for (Kerry) but it looks like they had some impact on legislative races.” Democratic Governor Tom Vilsack has two years remaining on his term, and as he has in his first six years in office, he’ll be forced to deal with a republican-led legislature.
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