Democrats retain Majority, hold 26-23 edge in Iowa Senate

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Democrats tonight retained the Majority in the Iowa State Senate, winning key open-seat races in Districts 18, 42 and 49. Democrats also unseated two Republican incumbents: Merlin Bartz of Grafton and Shawn Hamerlinck of Dixon. Senate Democrats also withstood far-right challenges against Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs, Senate Majority Whip Tom Courtney of Burlington, Senate President Pro Tem Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls and Assistant Majority Leader Steve Sodders of Marshalltown.

“This was a hard-fought and hard-won campaign,” said Gronstal. “But our advantage was a group of moderate, well-qualified candidates who worked hard to earn every vote.

Senate Democrats won 13 of the 26 seats on the ballot this year:
· District 8 (Gronstal)
· District 16 (Dearden)
· District 18 (Petersen)
· District 26 (Wilhelm)
· District 30 (Danielson)
· District 32 (Schoenjahn)
· District 34 (Mathis)
· District 36 (Sodders)
· District 42 (Taylor)
· District 44 (Courtney)
· District 46 (Brase)
· District 49 (Hart)
· District 50 (Jochum)

“These individuals have shown tremendous leadership abilities in community and professional organizations and they’ve demonstrated a moderate, reasonable approach to solving problems. Most importantly, they are dedicated public servants and tonight they begin service to their districts and the people of Iowa as Senators-Elect.

“We’re looking forward to working with Governor Branstad and House Republicans, as well as our Republican colleagues in theSenate to solve the economic challenges facing Iowa.”

The November 6th Election isn’t the end of the 2012 election cycle. Senator Pat Ward (R-West Des Moines) passed away on October 15th, in the midst of the General Election, triggering an automatic special election to be held on December 11th. Desmund Adams will be the Democrats’ nominee. Republicans have set their nominating convention for November 8th.


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