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Iowa's Open 1st District Goes Republican

courtesy of Rod Blum campaign
Republican Rod Blum will represent Iowa's 1st District in the U.S. House.

Republican Rod Blum, a Dubuque businessman, defeated Democrat Pat Murphy for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District in a tight race that was separated by a little more than 5,000 votes. 

The Associated Press projected Blum the winner just before midnight. The 59-year-old Blum frequently called himself a political outsider running against Murphy, who served in the Iowa legislature for 25 years.

"I don't think I'm your average Republican," Blum said, "so I think when people hear my message they say, 'Hey, this guy is not hyperpartisan.'"

The 1st District covers much of northeast Iowa and includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque. Though it tends to vote Democratic, the district has a sizable number of independent voters. 

Blum will succeed Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo, who vacated his seat to run for U.S. Senate.

Pat Blank is the host of All Things Considered