Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack announced this afternoon that he will not seek reelection in 2020.
Loebsack was a Cornell College political science professor, living in Mount Vernon, Iowa, when he was first elected to congress in 2006. He beat a 30-year incumbent — Republican Jim Leach — that year.
In 2012, Loebsack moved to Iowa City to represent the new second congressional district which covers much of the southeastern quadrant of the state. It includes the cities of Newton and Ottumwa and on the eastern border stretches from Clinton to Keokuk.
In a written statement, Loebsack said he had intended to retire after winning reelection in 2016. But after Donald Trump won the presidency, Loebsack was the only Democrat left in Iowa’s congressional delegation and he decided to run for a seventh in 2018. Loebsack, who is 66 years old, easily won last November by a 12 percent margin.
President Trump won the second congressional district by about four percent in 2016. With Loebsack’s announcement, Iowa’s congressional races in 2020 are shaping up to be among the nation’s most-closely-watched. First-term Congresswomen Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque and Cindy Axne of West Des Moines will be seeking re-election. Republican Congressman Steve King, the dean of Iowa’s House delegation, faces primary challengers in his bid for a 10th term.