Annette Sweeney with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.
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Annette Sweeney with Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Former State Representative Annette Sweeney (R-Alden) defeated Tracey Freese, a Democrat small businesswoman from Dike in Iowa Senate District 25’s special election on Tuesday 55.8 percent (4,776) to 44.2 percent (3,786).

Iowa Senate District 25 that consists of the eastern two-thirds of Butler, Grundy, Hardin, and eastern Story Counties (comprised of Iowa House Districts 49 and 50).

The seat was left vacant when former Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) resigned on March 12. Since the Iowa Legislature is currently in session, the 40-day notice for a special election required in the Iowa Code was waived. According to Iowa Code 69.14, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds only had to give an 18-day notice for a special election that had to be held on Tuesday.

Sweeney, an Iowa native, grew up on a family farm near Buckeye that she and her husband Dave operate today. Before returning to Buckeye to take over her family farm, Sweeney also taught English and speech to middle school students. During her time as a State Representative, Sweeney served as chair of the Iowa House Agriculture Committee. Most recently, she served as Iowa Rural Development Director for the United States Department of Agriculture.

“I want to congratulate Annette Sweeney on this well-deserved victory. She has spent her entire life working on behalf of rural communities, and I look forward to her joining the State Senate and partnering with our team to build a better Iowa. Annette is a role model for women across our state, and I hope her election will encourage even more Iowans to answer the call to serve and run for public office,” Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said in a released statement after Sweeney’s win.

“Annette Sweeney is a natural fit for Senate District 25. Her strong agricultural background and unwavering commitment to rural Iowa was rewarded by voters in that district. She worked hard every day communicating her positive vision for Iowa. I am eager to work with her in the Iowa Senate and continue to advance our bold, pro-growth agenda,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) said in a released statement on Tuesday evening.

Sweeney will complete Dix’s term which ends in December. She is running for re-election and has a contested primary against Chad Buss on June 5th. Provided she is nominated by Republicans in the district she will face Freese again in November who is running unopposed in the Democrat primary.

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