The 2010 Iowa General Election is history

More than a million votes were cast.  Some candidates won; others lost.  Iowa voters, for the first time, ejected judges from the courts. 

The national Republican “wave” was rather wavy in Iowa, with crests and troughs for the Iowa GOP.  Iowa Republicans won key races for governor and the U.S. Senate and picked up a lot of seats in the Iowa legislature, but the three Iowa Democrats in Iowa’s five-member congressional delegation survived the night.   And the Democrats who’ve served as state treasurer and as Iowa’s attorney general for a total of 56 years between the two of them were reelected.  Attorney General Tom Miller’s race wasn’t even that close — he won by 10 points.  The Iowa GOP alone poured over a half million dollars into the campaign of Miller’s Republican challenger, Brenna Findley.

The three Iowa Supreme Court justices — at 12:33 a.m. — issued a statement acknowledging they lost their retention elections:

It was our great privilege to serve the people of Iowa for many years.  Throughout our judicial service we endeavored to serve the people of Iowa by always adhering to the rule of law, making decisions fairly and impartially according to law, and faithfully upholding the constitution.  

We wish to thank all of the Iowans who voted to retain us for another term.  Your support shows that many Iowans value fair and impartial courts.  We also want to acknowledge and thank all the Iowans, from across the political spectrum and from different walks of life, who worked tirelessly over the past few months to defend Iowa’s high-caliber court system against an unprecedented attack by out-of-state special interest groups.  

Finally, we hope Iowans will continue to support Iowa’s merit selection system for appointing judges.  This system helps ensure that judges base their decisions on the law and the Constitution and nothing else.  Ultimately, however, the preservation of our state’s fair and impartial courts will require more than the integrity and fortitude of individual judges, it will require the steadfast support of the people.  

Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Associate Justice Michael Streit  
Associate Justice David Baker

At 1:29 a.m., the group which campaigned to get rid of Ternus, Streit and Baker issued a statement:


DES MOINES – Iowa For Freedom State Chair Bob Vander Plaats said Tuesday’s election was a referendum on leadership – failed leadership in the governor’s office, the legislature and the Iowa Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats and Iowa For Freedom have spent three months educating Iowans how the Iowa Supreme Court overstepped its boundaries with its April 3, 2009, ruling on same-sex marriage. Vander Plaats contends the state’s high court legislated from the bench, executed law from the bench and attempted to amend the Constitution with its ruling.

“The people’s voice has fallen on deaf ears for too long and tonight they spoke for a need for new leadership across the state, including three Iowa Supreme Court justices,” Vander Plaats said. “Iowans stood up with a common sense, and measured voice. Tonight we made history, we led on freedom and the rest of the country is going to hear our voice.”

Iowa For Freedom Campaign Manager Chuck Laudner thanked Iowans for their support.

“This result was certainly a group effort, but it was mostly a testament to the resiliency and strength of character of Iowans who cherish their Constitution,” Laudner said. “I am humbled to be associated with all Iowans who put this campaign on their own shoulders.”

Shortly before 1:30 a.m. this morning, the Republican candidate in Iowa’s first congressional district issued a statement (he hasn’t yet conceded the race).  I’m guessing the “in the morning” reference would be to the morning of Wednesday, November 3 rather than Thursday, November 4:

Dear All —

It has been a long night and the Lange campaign intends to review the final vote totals in the morning and proceed in a manner that is in the best interest of Eastern Iowans.

With kind regards,

Cody M. Brown
Campaign Manager
Ben Lange for United States Congress

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.