Linn County GOP chooses Golding for special election

Linn County Republicans have chosen their co-chair, Cindy Golding, to run for the open state senate seat in a race that’s garnering national attention, as a GOP win would tip the Iowa Senate into a 25-25 tie.  Golding is a former candidate for the Iiowa House, having run in a 2002 primary against Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha, who is currently the speaker of the House.  Golding won on the first ballot tonight, with 51 percent support.  She defeated Mary Rathje, rumored to be Governor Branstad’s pick for the race, and former U.S. Attorney Matt Dummermuth.  Craig Robinson from The Iowa Republican did a live chat of the evening.  Here’s the full Radio Iowa story.

GOP candidate emerges for “special” in eastern Iowa senate district

Republican Mary Rathje today announced her candidacy for the state senate seat now held by Democrat Swati Dandekar.  Dandekar has resigned, as Governor Branstad is appointing her to the Iowa Utilities Board.  The election is a high-stakes affair for the two political parties, as Democrats now hold a narrow 26-to-24 edge in the state senate and a GOP victory in this race would knot up the senate at 25-25. That would likely stymie efforts to advance legislation that is favored by either party, as neither Democrats nor Republicans would have the 26 votes necessary to pass a bill in the Iowa Senate.

Read Mary Rathje’s campaign announcement below.  She is the sister-in-law of Steve Rathje, who ran for the US Senate in 2008 and for congress in 2010. The name Rathje is pronounced ROTCH-ee.

MARION, IA-   Mary Rathje announced today her bid to seek the Republican nomination for the Iowa Senate District 18 Special Election.  

Governor Branstad called for the Special Election after State Senator Swati Dandekar resigned to fill a position on the Iowa Utilities Board.  The election is set for Tuesday, November 8, 2011. [Read more…]