On Monday, the Iowa Secretary of State released the final uncertified list of candidates that will appear on the June 5th primary ballot. Iowa Republicans will have 19 contested primaries with five incumbents receiving a challenge.
They are listed below (I’m just giving a brief description of the candidates at this time, I plan to provide a profile of different individual races later on. I will include websites if they have them):
There is a three-way Republican primary to see who will challenge incumbent State Senator David Johnson (I-Ocheydan) who left the Republican Party during the 2016 presidential campaign in protest of Donald Trump’s nomination.
The candidates are:
- Brad Price – a businessman from Spirit Lake.
- Zach Whiting – a Spirit Lake native, Republican activist, and an attorney who works as a policy advisor for Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa).
- Jesse Wolfe – A resident of Emmetsburg who has been the chair of the Palo Alto County Republican Party since 2012.
In Iowa Senate District 19, we have our first incumbent challenge. Newly-elected Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) is challenged by Brett Nelson, a 55-year-old resident of Saylor Township, who twice ran unsuccessfully against Whitver in 2014. He first lost the Republican primary 78.8 percent to 21.2 percent. After losing the primary he refiled as an independent and lost to Whitver again in the general election 81 percent to 18.4 percent.
Former State Representative Annette Sweeney (R-Alden) and Chad Buss, a chiropractor from Parkersburg, will compete to run for former Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix’s seat. Dix resigned earlier this month. Sweeney could enter the primary as the incumbent as she has also indicated that she plans to run in the special election on April 10.
State Senator Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) announced that he would not run for a third term. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, an ophthalmologist from Ottumwa who is a three-time Congressional candidate in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District and former director of the Iowa Department of Public Health, has filed to run. Her opponent is Daniel Cesar from Keosauqua who previously ran in the Iowa House District 90 special election in 2009 as a third party candidate.
Two men are running in the Republican primary to replace outgoing State Representative Chuck Holz (R-LeMars). Tom Jeneary, a retired dentist in LeMars announced that he planned to run back in February after Holz announced his retirement. Joseph Small from Akron has also filed to run.
State Representative Helen Miller (D-Ft. Dodge) announced that she would retire and there is speculation that this district could be a pick-up district for Republicans. Ann Meyer, a nurse and nurse educator from Ft. Dodge, is running. Gary Waechter, who ran unsuccessfully against Miller in 2016, has also filed for the primary.
State Representative Mike Sexton (R-Rockwell City) who has served in the Iowa House since 2015. Prior to that, he served in the Iowa Senate from 1999-2003. He is one of the three Republican incumbents that have a contested primary. His challenger is Tom Hoefling from Lohrville. Hoefling unsuccessfully primaried former Governor Terry Branstad in 2014. He has also unsuccessfully run for President as an independent.
Three Republicans are vying for the opportunity to challenge State Representative Charlie McConkey (D-Council Bluffs) in November. They are:
- Sarah Abdouch who lives in Council Bluffs and is the Iowa State Director for Convention of the States.
- LeAnn Hughes, a Council Bluffs resident, is the owner of Backyard Tree Experts.
- Mark Hunter, a resident of Carter Lake.
State Representative Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield) who has served in the Iowa House since 1999 decided not to run in November. Dodge Michael Perrigo, a body shop owner and farmer from Redfield, is running against Ray “Bubba” Sorenson a resident of Greenfield operates Sorensen Studios. Sorensen is known for his murals and “freedom rocks” that he paints to honor veterans.
State Representative David Sieck (R-Glenwood) joined the Iowa House in 2015 after a special election to replace Mark Costello who won a special election to the Iowa Senate replacing U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa). He is being challenged by Tony Wernicke from Red Oak.
Two Republicans are vying for the opportunity to challenge State Representative Scott Ourth (D-Ackworth) in November. Jeffrey Janssen, an attorney from Carlisle, has thrown his hat in the ring. He is running against Rebel Snodgrass, a small business owner from Indianola. Snodgrass ran an unsuccessful campaign against Ourth in 2016.
State Representative Greg Heartsill (R-Chariton) decided not to run for a fourth term. Two Republicans are competing to hold the seat for Republicans. Jon Thorup, an Iowa State Trooper from Knoxville, is running against Jon Van Wyk from Sully who co-owns Van Wyk Winery in Sully and works for TPI Composites in Newton.
State Representative Peter Cownie (R-West Des Moines) has served in the Iowa House since 2009. He is being challenged by Ralph Haskins from West Des Moines who owns a residential design and construction company.
State Representative Rob Taylor (R-West Des Moines) decided not to run for a fourth term. Two candidates are running for the Republican nomination. Anna Bergman, an attorney and Waukee City Council member, is running against Travis Grassel a Waukee resident who is the lead lobbyist and co-founder for Families United Action Network.
News that State Representative Chip Baltimore (R-Boone) decided to retire after four terms in office sparked a three-way primary.
The candidates are:
- Donald Batt – a former Boone City Councilmember and City of Boone Public Works employee.
- Victoria Sinclair – A Boone resident who works in Congressman Steve King’s office in Ames.
- Phil Thompson – Thompson is a Jefferson native and an Army veteran.
State Representative Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson) is running for his third term. He is being challenged by Shawn Zierke, from Homestead, consults on aging workforce issues through my consulting business, Zierke Consulting Group. She also co-founded Informed Choice of Iowa, a pro-life crisis pregnancy center.
State Representative Larry Sheets (R-Moulton) opted not to run for a fourth term. Holly Brink from rural Oskaloosa is a district sales representative with AFLAC. She also runs a family farm with her husband. She is running against Richard Harold Keilig, Jr. from Moravia. Keilig is an Army veteran and teaches at Centerville High School and Indian Hills Community College.
State Representative David Heaton (R-Mount Pleasant) is retiring from the Iowa House after serving since 1995. There is a four-way primary to become the Republican nominee as a result.
The candidates are:
- Martin Amos from Mt. Pleasant, a former sales manager who now owns a small business in Mt. Pleasant.
- Trevor Lynn is resident of Brighton, Lynn is a student at Iowa State University in Ames and works as a clerk in the Iowa Senate.
- Sheila Matheney is from Mount Pleasant.
- Joe Mitchell is a senior at Drake University who is from Wayland.
Two Republicans are competing to run against State Representative Dennis Cohoon (D-Burlington) in November. Tim Goodwin, a former educator, works as the director of administration and development at WW Transport in Burlington. He is running against Travis Ingraham, a Burlington resident.