Iowa’s five-term governor has easily won a sixth term. Republican Terry Branstad will become the nation’s longest-serving governor ever in the middle of his next term. This morning, Branstad was asked by reporters if he might run again, and Branstad replied: “You never say never.”
Democrat Jack Hatch, the state senator from Des Moines who ran against Branstad this year, spoke to supporters less than half an hour after the polls closed and stressed the need to address middle class issues.
“So I challenge the governor and my legislative friends and all Iowans to move forward in a way in which we can understand that we do not need to be partisan,” Hatch said.
Voting in Iowa’s largest county will set a record for a midterm election. Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald says 62,000 residents in his county voted early, by absentee ballot.
“The mail was heavy today,” Fitzgerald says. “We haven’t had a chance to call any of our polling sites because we’ve been so busy with people calling, wanting to know where they vote, wanting to change where they vote, but I’ve done spot checks and I think everything I’m hearing from the field is we’re going to get well over 100,000.”
That would be 100,000 votes cast in the Des Moines area today alone.
“A record turnout for absentees statewide, I think that’s going to be the news,” Fitzgerald says. “I’ve talked to some other county auditors and they’ve seen some pretty big jumps, too, so people want to get out there and end this marathon with a sprint to the finish.”