One of the major upsets of Tuesday evening was the defeat of 30-year-incumbent Jim Leach of Iowa City.
Democrat Dave Loebsack, a political science professor at Cornell College, narrowly defeated the Republican congressman by just 5711 votes. Leach
stunned many who’d gathered at his campaign headquarters with this declaration. “This is the happiest day of my life and you might all think that’s an awkward thing to say but it’s as if a burden has been lifted,” Leach said. “I’ve always wanted to be a model citizen and I look forward to resuming that role.”
Late last month Leach had declared that some candidates would be surprised yesterday, and he ended up being one of them. “This was the perfect storm,” Leach said overnight, citing Iraq and an unpopular congress. “We had a congress that frankly got arrogant as well as had some conflicts of interests and the public wants change and they want change in a very visible way.”
Leach, a Davenport native who graduated from Princeton and the London School of Economics, was first elected to congress in 1976.