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Unofficial Results Show Republicans Expanding Majority In Iowa House

Lawmakers gather in the House of Representatives chamber at the Iowa State Capitol.
John Pemble
IPR file
Republicans appear to have expanded their majority in the Iowa House of Representatives.

Republicans appear to have kept control of the Iowa House of Representatives after Democrats thought this was their year to flip the chamber and break the GOP’s hold on the Iowa Capitol.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press had not called winners in four of the 100 state House races. But unofficial results show Republicans held on to almost all of their seats and flipped some held by Democrats, expanding their majority.

“Tonight’s election results demonstrate that Iowans strongly support the direction of our state under Republican leadership,” Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley said in a statement.

On election night, Grassley said the GOP expanded their majority to 59 seats. The Iowa House is currently made up of 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats.

While it appears Republicans have gained seats in the House, the exact margin is not yet clear.

Democrats were surprised to see two seats they picked up in the Des Moines suburbs in 2018 apparently flip back to Republican control. Those races are very close, and the AP has not called winners as of Wednesday afternoon.

A spokesperson for the House Democrats did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Unofficial results show Rep. Heather Matson, D-Ankeny, trailing her Republican opponent Garrett Gobble by 159 votes.

“One hundred and fifty-nine votes is incredibly close and we’ll continue to monitor the results as any outstanding ballots come in,” Matson said in a social media post Wednesday. “But as of now, it appears that we were not successful in our campaign.”

Absentee ballots that were postmarked by Nov. 2 and arrive by noon on Nov. 9 will still be counted. Election officials will also consider provisional ballots in the coming days.

The Iowa Senate will continue to have a large Republican majority. The AP has not called winners in two state Senate races that are very close.

Republicans also elected Mark Cisneros to represent a House district in Muscatine, making him the first ever Latino member of the Iowa Legislature.

Seats that flipped, according to AP race calls:

  • House District 26. Brooke Boden (R) wins against incumbent Rep. Scott Ourth (D)
  • House District 58. Steve Bradley (R) wins against incumbent Rep. Andy McKean (D)
  • House District 64. Chad Ingels (R) wins open D seat against Jodi Grover (D)
  • House District 67. Eric Gjerde (D) wins open R seat against Sally Ann Abbott (R)
  • House District 81. Cherielynn Westrich (R) wins against incumbent Rep. Mary Gaskill (D)
  • House District 83. Martin Graber (R) wins against incumbent Rep. Jeff Kurtz (D)
  • Senate District 42. Jeff Reichman (R) wins against incumbent Sen. Rich Taylor (D)

Races not called by AP as of Wednesday afternoon:

  • House District 29. Incumbent Rep. Wes Breckenridge (D) is leading against Jon Dunwell (R)
  • House District 38. Garrett Gobble (R) is leading against incumbent Rep. Heather Matson (D)
  • House District 39. Eddie Andrews (R) is leading against incumbent Rep. Karin Derry (D)
  • House District 82. Incumbent Rep. Jeff Shipley (R) is leading against Phil Miller (D)
  • Senate District 22. Sarah Trone Garriott (D) is leading Scott Cirksena (R) for an open R seat
  • Senate District 30. Incumbent Sen. Eric Giddens (D) is leading against Harold Youngblut (R)