DES MOINES, Iowa – After Election Night, Iowa Senate Republicans maintain their 32 to 18 majority, and Iowa House Republicans gain six seats to expand their majority to 59 to 41.
Iowa Senate Republicans and Iowa Senate Democrats each flipped a seat.
Iowa Senate Democrats flipped Iowa Senate District 22 in a contest for an open seat after State Senator Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, announced that he would not run for re-election. Democratic nominee Sarah Trone Garriott, a former Lutheran hospital chaplain from Windsor Heights, defeated Republican Scott Cirksena, the Mayor of Clive, 50.1 percent (23,061) to 49.8 percent (22,895).
Iowa Senate Republicans picked up Senate District 42. State Senator Rich Taylor, D-Mt. Pleasant, lost his bid for re-election to Republican challenger Jeff Reichman, a small business owner from Montrose, 59.8 percent (16,738) to 40 percent (11,211).
“As we look across the state at these results, I just have one word for you. That’s a mandate. That is a mandate for what we’re doing here in the state of Iowa. I think when Iowans went to vote today, they said a couple of things. They said, number one, the pro-growth, pro-job, get-Iowa-back-on-track agenda that we’ve led is working and they want more of it. I think they said that out-of-state money is not going to work in Iowa, you cannot come into this state and buy these elections,” Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, said at the Iowa GOP Election night party in downtown Des Moines.
One of the primary targets for Iowa Senate Democrats was State Senator Brad Zaun, R-Urbandale, in Iowa Senate District 20. Zaun defeated his Democratic challenger, Rhonda Martin, a city council member in Johnston, 51 percent (21,933) to 48.8 percent (20,962).
“It was a mandate tonight because in my race, I’m going to guess about a third of the money came from the west coast and the east coast. And I was wondering, why do they care about Urbandale, Johnston, and Grimes? Well, you know what, tonight that didn’t happen,” Zaun said during the Iowa GOP Election Night said after Whitver spoke.
Iowa House Republicans rebuffed Democrats in numerous targeted races that saw millions of dollars from out-of-state spent to flip the Iowa House.
Iowa House Democrats only flipped one seat that Iowa House Republicans spent little money to defend – Iowa House District 67 that was an open race after State Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, decided to run for Congress.
Democrat nominee Eric Gjerde from Cedar Rapids defeated the Republican nominee, Sally Ann Abbott, a nurse and educator from Cedar Rapids, 53.2 percent (10,501) to 46.7 percent (9,218).
Iowa House Republicans flipped seven seats held by Democrats.
State Rep. Scott Ourth, D-Ackworth, was defeated in Iowa House District 26 by his Republican challenger, Brooke Boden, a licensed insurance agent and dance studio operator from Indianola, 53.6 percent (9,756) to 46.2 percent (8,411).
Iowa House Republicans also retook two suburban seats they lost in 2018.
In Iowa House District 38, Republican challenger Garrett Gobble, a history teacher at Northview Middle School in Ankeny, defeated State Rep. Heather Matson, D-Ankeny, 50.3 percent (10,080) to 49.5 percent (9,921).
Republican challenger Eddie Andrews, an app developer and Christian minister from Johnston, defeated State Rep. Karin Derry, D-Johnston, 50.1 percent (12,449) to 49.1 percent (12,037).
Both candidates were outspent by the Democratic incumbents.
State Rep. Andy McKean, D-Anamosa, in Iowa House District 58, switched parties in 2019. He was defeated by his Republican challenger, Steven Bradley, a dentist from Cascade, 53.6 percent (9,116) to 46.3 percent (7,878).
Iowa House District 64 was an open seat after State Rep. Bruce Bearinger, D-Oelwein, announced he would not run for re-election. Republican nominee Chad Ingels, a farmer and school board president from Randalia, defeated the Democratic nominee Jodi Grover, a professor at Upper Iowa University, 56.3 percent (8,277) to 43.7 percent (6,433).
State Rep. Mary Gaskill, D-Ottumwa, lost her bid for re-election in a rematch with her 2018 Republican opponent, Cherielynn Westrich of Ottumwa. Westrich defeated Gaskill, 53 percent (6,672) to 46.8 percent (5,888).
Another incumbent, State Rep. Jeff Kurtz, D-Ft. Madison, lost his bid for re-election. He was defeated his Republican challenger, Brig. Gen. Martin Graber, (ANG, Ret.), 52.9 percent (6,959) to 47.0 percent (6,194) in Iowa House District 83.
State Rep. John Landon, R-Ankeny, in Iowa House District 37, State Rep. Michael Bergan, R-Dorchester, in Iowa House District 55, State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, in Iowa House District 73, State Rep. Jeff Shipley, R-Birmingham, in Iowa House District 82, State Rep. Ross Paustian, R-Walcott, in Iowa House District 92, and State Rep. Gary Mohr, R-Bettendorf, in Iowa House District 94 all survived well-funded challengers.
Republicans also defended against well-funded campaigns in open-seat races in Iowa House Districts 16, 91, and 95.
During the Iowa GOP Election Night party, Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, noted the growing diversity in his caucus.
“So this year, coming into our caucus, we’re going to add an African-American to our caucus, an Asian-American, and a Hispanic. This caucus is not the caucus of just – what the media and the Democrats want to say – old white people. The party is growing, and we are thriving, and it’s being shown right here tonight,” he said.
Mark Cisneros, who won his election in Iowa House District 91, will be the first Latino to serve in the Iowa Legislature.
Grassley said the election sent a message to liberal donors attempting to buy elections.
“House Republicans have sent (a) message, we send it to Fred Hubbell and Mike Bloomberg, this state cannot be bought, House Republicans could not be bought. That’s right. So in this next election, when the Democrats are talking about flipping the House, after we just beat six Democrats, they may want to defend their seats before they start coming after Republicans,” he stated.