Iowa Democrat’s Retirement Moves Congressional Seat to ‘Toss-Up’ | NTK Network Iowa Democrat’s Retirement Moves Congressional Seat to ‘Toss-Up’

Iowa Democrat’s Retirement Moves Congressional Seat to ‘Toss-Up’

Dave Loebsack, who has served seven terms representing Iowa in Congress, announced he’s not running for another term. That could give Republicans an opening to win the seat.

By NTK Staff | 04.15.2019 @9:42am
Iowa Democrat’s Retirement Moves Congressional Seat to ‘Toss-Up’

After seven terms in office, Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA) is retiring, a decision that could give Republicans an opening to win a highly prized seat in a district that Donald Trump carried by 4 percentage points in 2016.

Loebsack represents Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District and first won the seat in 2006.

News of Loebsack’s retirement prompted Inside Elections’ Nathan Gonzales to move the district from “Solid Democratic” to “Toss-up,” thereby expanding Republicans targeted districts list:

With the seat now open, we’re changing our Inside Elections rating of the race from Solid Democratic to Toss-up. That pushes the total number of vulnerable Democratic seats to 40, compared to 29 for the GOP. Republicans need a net gain of 18 or 19 seats for a majority, depending on the outcome of the new election in North Carolina later this year.

It’s too early to tell who might jump in the race on the Republican and Democrat sides, but a few names have surfaced in the aftermath of Loebsack’s retirement news:

On the Democratic side, state Sen. Zach Wahls and former state Sen. Rita Hart were two of the first names mentioned. Hart, who was also the party’s nominee for lieutenant governor last year, was considering a run for the Senate against Ernst, but may now choose to run for this open House seat instead. On the Republican side, potential candidates include Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph and state Sen. Chris Cournoyer.

With Sen. Joni Ernst’s running for reelection, and the Iowa Caucuses right around the corner, 2020 is shaping up to be a busy election year for the Hawkeye State. Adding this now-competitive seat to the mix will only bring more attention and ad dollars to the state. If Republicans hope to retake the House in 2020, they will need to win seats like IA-02 to have a fighting chance.

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