Democrats say they won’t try to take partisan advantage of their temporary one-vote edge in the Iowa Senate. In January, there will be 25 democrats and 25 republicans in the Senate, yet one of those republicans is on active duty in Iraq. Senator Chuck Larson, Junior’s tour could end as early as January or February or be extended into next summer. Michael Gronstal, the current leader of democrats in the State Senate, doesn’t intend to try to exploit his party’s advantage during Larson’s absence. “We could. That is a possibility but I think it’s the wrong track to take because we still need 26 votes to pass a bill and the mistake I think for either party would be to start in January with a highly-partisan battle that divides the institution when in fact in order to govern we’re going to need 26 votes at a minimum,” Gronstal said. Republican Jeff Lamberti, the current President of the Senate, says he’s happy to hear Gronstal’s comments. “I agree the way you want to start this session…is not to start with something divisive, not to try to take advantage of the fact that we have one of our members serving America in Iraq,” Lamberti said. “Honorably in Iraq,” Gronstal replied. Lamberti says if democrats were to take partisan advantage, it would set things off in January “on the wrong foot.” Lamberti says he hopes the two party leaders can develop a plan of action for the Senate so when the Legislature convenes in January, they’ll know how to operate. Lamberti and Gronstal made their comments during taping of the Iowa Public Television program “Iowa Press” which airs tonight.
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