With a dead-even partisan divide in the Iowa Senate this coming January, many eyes will be watching one of the Senate’s maverick members. If the Iowa Senate has a member in the “John McCain” mold, it would be Mary Lundby. Lundby is a moderate republican from Marion who has criticized her fellow republicans on occasion and even voted with democrats on key issues. Since the Iowa Senate will be split evenly in January with 25 republicans and 25 democrats, Lundby’s maverick ways are attracting more attention. There have even been rumors that she’s been courted by democrats to actually switch parties. Lundby jokes about that rumored wooing. “Not a single thing has arrived,” she says of potential trinkets that might sway her to switch parties. “No cars, no big screen t.v.s — no nothin’.” Lundby has fought her party on issues like workers rights — and she once ridiculed a fellow republican senator’s knowledge on a particular issue by thanking him for all the work he had -not- done on a regulatory reform bill. In addition, Lundby supports abortion rights and has lambasted other republicans for pursuing a “right wing agenda.” Lundby believes with the 25/25 split in the Senate next year, she will not have to wage those battles. “The thing I feel most confident is is we won’t have that right wing, angry agenda. We won’t even have those debates because there won’t be an opportunity for those bills to pass so I’m glad about that,” she says. And while others might consider Lundby a potential power player in an evenly divided Senate, she contends that no one senator will be able to consolidate power in the evenly-split Senate. Lundby says the situation lends itself much more to negotiation and much less to power being seized or given to any one person.
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