A legislator who helped craft the Democratic take-over of the Iowa House almost missed being around to see the achievement. House Democratic Leader Pat Murphy of Dubuque was on his way to Des Moines on Election Night when the brakes on his car went out — as Murphy was driving at high-speed on Interstate 80.

“I had a close call and I ended up on the wayside of the road,” Murphy said. Murphy sat along I-80, listening to his car radio and getting constant updates by cell phone to find out which Democratic candidates for the House were winning. Murphy says luckily, he was stranded in an area with good cell phone coverage.

“Between Amana and Williamsburg,” he says. Murphy hitched a ride with another Democrat who’d been working in eastern Iowa and was headed to Des Moines on Tuesday night. Murphy jokes that his last name is Murphy, and he is subject to “Murphy’s Law” which suggests that anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

But if something had to go wrong on Tuesday, Murphy says he’d prefer mechanical problems with his car than problems at the ballot box. “Better for me on the interstate with no breaks than anything else,” Murphy says. Murphy’s 1992 Cadillac has been towed to a repair shop in Williamsburg.