The past two elections have yielded significant turn-over in the ranks of Republicans in the Iowa Senate.

“I was going through the numbers,” says newly-elected Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix. “After we win the special election here in West Des Moines and Dallas County, it will be 19 of our 24 members will have been here four years or less.”

A special election is scheduled for December 11 for a central Iowa senate seat.  Senator Pat Ward of West Des Moines was seeking election in a new district, but she died in October and state law requires a special election in such cases. Two lawyers are running in the district, which Dix notes has a Republican voter registration edge.

Dix served a decade in the Iowa House, but he’s been a senator for just two years. Only six other Republican senators have served in the senate longer than Dix.

“That’s a nice balance of experience and new energy and enthusiasm,” Dix says. “It’s a very talented group and I’m going to do everything I can to put those people with those talents in those spots where they can make a difference.”

Dix, at the age of 49, is the youngest senator to win a top leadership spot in the senate since November of 1996, when Mike Gronstal was elected Senate Democratic Leader. Gronstal, who was 46 years old back then, was re-elected Senate Democratic Leader this past Sunday. Senator Dix, who is from Shell Rock, was elected Senate Republican leader last week. Dix turns 50 November 28.