State Representative Mark Costello (R-Imogene) easily defeated his Democrat Steve Adams of Red Oak and Libertarian Don Brantz of Glenwood in a special election held yesterday in Iowa Senate District 12. The special election was called after then State-Senator Joni Ernst (R-Red Oak) resigned her seat in the Iowa Senate after defeating Congressman Bruce Braley in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race.
According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office C0stello captured 3068 votes just shy of 74% of the 4,161 votes cast. Adams finished with 924 votes only garnering 22%. Brantz finished with 131 votes, just 3% of the votes cast.
Voter turnout was low in a district that tilts to the GOP with 18,192 registered Republicans compared to 7,168 registered Democrats. The district represents Fremont, Mills, Montgomery, Page, Ringgold, and Taylor Counties.
Costello, 53, was nominated by Republicans at an earlier nominating convention held in Clarinda earlier this month beating six other candidates. He graduated from Nishna Valley High School in 1980 and then graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in computer information systems. He currently farms raising corn, soybeans and cattle outside of Imogene. He and his wife Rachel have been married 13 years and have five children.
Costello was elected to the Iowa House in 2012 to represent House District 23. He served on the Human Resources, Labor, State Government, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services Committees. A special election will be called by Iowa Governor Terry Branstad in the near future as Costello will vacate his House seat.