Update: On Saturday, the Black Hawk County Democrats selected Cedar Falls School Board member Eric Giddens to be their nominee to run in the special election on March 19th. Black Hawk County Republicans selected former State Representative Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls). Fred Perryman will be the Libertarian candidate running.
Original 2/19/19: Last week State Senator Jeff Danielson (D-Cedar Falls) announced last Thursday that he was resigning his Iowa Senate seat and from the Cedar Falls Fire Department for a new undisclosed job.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds called for a special election for Tuesday, March 19 in Iowa Senate District 30 to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term that ends in 2020. Iowa Senate District 30 consists of includes Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Hudson, and parts of unincorporated Black Hawk County.
Ordinarily, a special election requires a 40-day notice, but Iowa Code 69.14 says that the Governor only has to provide an 18-day notice while the legislature is in session. The special election also has to be held on a Tuesday. Reynolds provided a 29-day notice, and incidentally, the special election will happen during the University of Northern Iowa’s spring break.
College students who are registered to vote in the district can vote by absentee ballot. According to the Iowa Secretary of State’s office, the deadline to request an absentee ballot for this special election will be Friday, March 8. Absentee ballots can be received in the county auditor’s office up until the time of the official canvass, which will be 1 p.m. on Monday, March 25.
Currently, four Democrats have announced they are running for the seat: Amy Petersen, a professor of special education at the University of Northern Iowa; Tom Ralston, a John Deere employee who was elected president of UAW local 838; Eric Giddens, a member of the Cedar Falls school board; and Sasha Wohlpart, a member of the Cedar Falls School Board.
Former State Representative Walt Rogers (R-Cedar Falls) who lost re-election in November in Iowa House District 60 is considering running. Rogers ran against Danielson in 2008 and lost by 22 votes.
Fred Perryman, a Libertarian, announced that he would run for the open seat as well.
The Black Hawk Democratic Party will hold a special nominating convention this Saturday at 10:00a and the Black Hawk Republican Party will hold their nominating convention on Monday.
The deadline for independent candidates to be nominated by petition is March 5th.
Democrats hold a slight, but not insurmountable, voter registration advantage with 13,333 registered Democrats, 12,488 registered Republicans, and 15,986 registered independent voters.