2018 Election

John Pemble/IPR

The Republican candidate for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd district spoke from the Des Moines Register Soapbox Friday, calling the incumbent “a nice guy but part of the status quo.”

Iowa city physician Christopher Peters hopes to unseat six- term Democrat Dave Loebsack. 

Peters said he would have voted differently from Loebsack on a host of issues, from health care to banking reform. 

He brings his medical expertise to the campaign.

KOMU News / Creative Commons

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks to public radio reporters from Iowa, Ohio, Kansas and Missouri to see hower voter laws are changing across the Midwest.

Iowa

A 2017 voter law required voters to provide an identification numbers from a driver’s license, a non-driver’s license or a voting card in order to apply for an absentee ballot.   

John Pemble/IPR

Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate brought his re-election campaign to the Iowa State Fair Tuesday, taking his turn on the Des Moines Register’s Political Soapbox.  

As the state’s chief elections officer, Pate said Iowa has registered a quarter of a million new voters during his time in office, aided in part by a new online voter registration system.   He said the state ranks among the top in the nation for voter participation and registration.   Also, 17-year olds can now register and vote in primary elections.

kim reynolds
John Pemble / IPR

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds took to the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the state fair Tuesday and touted her new legislation and positive state rankings as part of her campaign to remain governor of Iowa.

She told supporters and fair-goers she is proud of signing tax code changes, mental health reform, and job training bills into law.

“We have a lot of positive things happening in Iowa,” Reynolds said. “And I know the other side wants to think everything’s doom and gloom and Iowa’s going to hell in a handbasket and I’m sorry, it is not.”

Michael Leland/IPR

The Libertarian candidate for Iowa’s 4th Congressional District seat says low income Iowans should be able to keep more of their money.  Charles Aldrich of Clarion is running against Republican incumbent Steve King.  Aldrich says people who earn less than $350 a week shouldn’t have to pay federal taxes. 

“These people are working for poverty wages, and they shouldn’t be having to fork over their money because the government thinks that they can spend it more wisely,” he said.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Iowa 2nd District Congressman Dave Loebsack warned state fairgoers Monday that if Republicans retain control of the U.S. House, there will be a renewed attempt at entitlement reform directed at the nation’s senior citizens.     

Loebsack was first elected in a Democratic wave in 2006 after President George W. Bush’s plan to privatize social security failed to advance. 

“It crashed and burned due to bipartisan opposition,” Loebsack said from the Des Moines Register Soapbox at the fair.  

Michael Leland/IPR

The Libertarian candidate for Iowa governor acknowledges he probably won’t win the election, but he says this political campaign is an opportunity to expand the party in the state.  Council Bluffs business consultant Jake Porter says Libertarians are on the ballot in about three dozen contests this November, including statewide offices and all four congressional races. 

Porter says there are about 11,000 registered Libertarians in the state, and he’d like to see that number reach 20,000 in part by getting out the party’s message.

fred hubbell
Katarina Sostaric/IPR

Standing on the Des Moines Register soapbox Saturday, Democratic candidate for governor Fred Hubbell criticized Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds for what he said is her failure to stand up to the White House during escalating trade disputes.

Hubbell said tariffs are putting rural communities “on edge.”

“It’s not acceptable to say, ‘Let’s be patient, it’s going to work its way out.’ We need someone to stand up for Iowans and put Iowans first, regardless of who’s in the White House and regardless of what the party is,” Hubbell said. “And that’s what I’m going to do.”

deidre dejear
John Pemble / IPR

Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear told state fair-goers Friday she wants all eligible voters in Iowa to have access to the ballot box.

DeJear is a Democrat challenging Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate in the November election.

She said her grandmother in Mississippi saw the sacrifices made when people of color and women were seeking the right to vote.

Michael Leland/IPR

An Iowa State Fair tradition resumed on Thursday's opening day – political speeches at the Des Moines Register soapbox. First up Thursday was Abby Finkenauer.  She’s a Democrat challenging Republican Rod Blum for the 1st Congressional District seat in Washington.  In a brief speech to a few dozen supporters, Finkenauer said she’d like to get people talking more about values, and hope.

Creative Commons/Pixabay

 

Technology Is playing an increasingly active role in our political climate. Social media and other technological communications systems make it easier for people to engage with candidates, increase opportunities for offline political mobilization, and provide access to an unprecedented amount of news and information.

Abby Finkenauer Campaign

Since 2009, Iowa boards and commissions have been required by law to maintain gender balance. The latest research from Iowa State University’s Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics shows that boards statewide have fallen short.

Kelly Winfrey, Assistant Professor at the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University, joins host Ben Kieffer on this segment of River to River to chat about the ongoing study.

Kate Payne / IPR

Students behind the March For Our Lives campaign made stops in Eastern Iowa Thursday as part of their nationwide bus tour to continue the conversation on gun control. The activists are hoping to mobilize young voters, and it’s no coincidence they came to Iowa's competitive 1st Congressional District.

Charles Edward Miller / Wikimeda/Flickr - Creative Commons

In this politics day edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer talks with Chris Larimer, associate professor of political science at University of Northern Iowa and Donna Hoffman, associate professor and chair of political science at UNI about the public outcry over children being separated from their migrant parents at the U.S. border and the state party conventions for Democrats and Republicans over the weekend.

Hubbell for Governor Campaign

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell has selected State Sen. Rita Hart as his running mate.  

Hart will be officially nominated as lieutenant governor today when Democrats meet for their state convention in Des Moines.  

Hart describes herself as an educator, farmer, mother, and volunteer.  She is serving her first term in  the Iowa Senate.  She taught in the Calamus-Wheatland and Bennett Community School Districts for over two decades.  She and her husband Paul operate a family-owned century farm near Wheatland in Clinton County.

Maryland GovPics via flickr creative commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/mdgovpics/15650599296/

According to the Iowa Democratic Party, voters in three counties reported issues related to the state’s new voter ID law. While the incidents were limited, there are concerns that confusion around the changes could impact future elections.

John Pemble / IPR

Iowa Democrats have nominated businessman Fred Hubbell to take on Gov. Kim Reynolds in the November gubernatorial election. Jake Porter will be the Libertarian candidate for governor.

Congressional matchups are set with two women earning Democratic spots on the ballot. Abby Finkenauer, the Democrat nominated in the first congressional district, would be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she is successful in her bit to oust incumbent Republican Congressman Rod Blum. No woman has ever been elected to Congress from Iowa. 

Zach Wahls via facebook / https://www.facebook.com/zach.wahls/

Iowa’s largest LGBTQ rights group is celebrating the primary election victory of advocate Zach Wahls in Eastern Iowa’s Senate District 37. 

John Pemble / IPR

Democrats in the state Tuesday night nominated a Fred Hubbell, a wealthy businessman from Des Moines, to run against Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has never been elected to the state’s top job. The primary election also set the stage for Iowa’s congressional races in November including the nomination of Abby Finkenauer. At 28, the two-term state House represenative would be the youngest woman elected to Congress if she defeats Republican incumbent Congressman Rod Blum.

Iowa Secretary of State office

Former minor league baseball player J-D Scholten will face eight-term Republican incumbent Steve King in the November election for Iowa’s 4th District congressional seat. Scholten picked up about 51 percent of the vote in defeating two other Democrats: Leann Jacobsen and John Paschen. 

Scholten toured the expansive district in his RV, and says he believes can defeat King by continuing to meet voters face-to-face.

cindy axne
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Cindy Axne won the three-way Democratic primary election in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District Tuesday night with about 58 percent of the vote. She will face two-term Rep. David Young (R-Van Meter) in the November general election.

Axne addressed supporters at her campaign office in West Des Moines shortly after the race was called.

“I am so grateful for the support that I’ve received across this district,” Axne said. “And I know you’re all going to be by my side as we take this to a victory in November.”

John Pemble/IPR

Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell handily won the race for the Democratic nomination  for governor Tuesday, defeating four other candidates for the chance to go against Gov. Kim Reynolds in  November.

It was a who’s who of prominent Democrats at the Hubbell watch party near Principal Park, a sign of his massive support in Polk County.   

That helped him win well over the 35 percent he needed to clinch the nomination in the crowded field.  

Hubbell thanked the supporters who took a chance on a first-time candidate.

The polls are closed in Iowa's 2018 primary election, and we have results from the Democratic primary race for governor, as well as the primary elections in Iowa's 1st, 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. 

John Pemble / IPR

After speaking with all of the Democratic and Libertarian candidates on Iowa's gubernatorial primary ballot, IPR's Clay Masters extended an invitation to Gov. Kim Reynolds to discuss her vision for the state. While Reynolds does not have an opponent in the June 5th GOP primary, the crowded gubernatorial field has criticized her handling of the privatization of Medicaid and funding for mental health care services. Masters spoke with Reynolds about those and other issues. What follows is a transcript of the conversation.

Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

The stakes are high for Iowa Democrats in the midterms this year. It's been a while since there's been a major win for the party in the swing state. And Tuesday could be one of the first steps. That's when Democratic voters will select a candidate to run against Iowa's Republican Governor, Kim Reynolds.

Joyce Russell/IPR

In the final debate of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor last night, five candidates made their case for who is best qualified to take on Gov. Kim Reynolds in the general election.  

The debate was held before a live audience at the State Historical Building, sponsored by the Des Moines Register and KCCI-TV.  

Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell has been leading in the polls, financing his campaign in part with  his personal wealth.  

John Pemble / IPR file photo

Political analysts say there’s “reason to be optimistic” this year’s elections could lead to a record-breaking number of women serving in the Iowa Legislature.

There have never been more than 35 women among the state’s 150 lawmakers.

“Part of the reason we hit that ceiling is not having enough women run for office,” said Kelly Winfrey, assistant professor at Iowa State University and coordinator at the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics. “This year, we have more women running, so we would expect to see more women winning.”

Amy Mayer/IPR file

Most of the attention surrounding the June 5 primary election in Iowa has been on Democratic races for governor and three congressional seats. There is also a contested Republican primary for Secretary of Agriculture. Morning Edition Host Clay Masters spoke with IPR Agriculture Reporter Amy Mayer about the race and the job itself. Here’s what to know.

A few highlights:

John Pemble / IPR

The Director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics is critiquing Senator Nate Boulton’s initial response after the Des Moines Register reported on his alleged sexual improprieties.    

Boulton withdrew from the race for the Democratic nomination for governor today. 

On Wednesday he apologized to the women who said he had inappropriately touched them at a bar or at parties.   

But his campaign pointed out that he had not harassed women at work.

nate boulton
John Pemble / Iowa Public Radio

UPDATE: 9:30 a.m. Thursday, May 24

Nate Boulton said in a statement Thursday morning he is suspending his campaign for governor. 

"While I depart this campaign for governor with a heavy heart, I remain resolved to the greater cause of creating a future Iowa we all can be proud to call our home," the statement read.  

There are five other Democrats running in the primary.  By Thursday morning, four of them had called for Boulton to drop out of the race, and John Norris said Boulton shouldn't be the Democratic nominee. 

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