(The Center Square) – Democrats held the Iowa House District 29 seat, but that changed after Tuesday’s special election.
Republican Jon Dunwell of Newton, beat Democrat Steve Mullan 2,820-1,890, according to preliminary results, Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate tweeted Tuesday night.
“Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse,” Dunwell said in a Facebook post Tuesday night. “Throughout this campaign, I have had the honor of hearing from so many of you. Those who agreed with me and those who offered opposing viewpoints. I have learned so much and am eager to get to work representing each and every one of you.”
Scott Krebsbach, a legislator and harvester who held the seat from 1991-92, was the last Republican representative in the region, which used to be primarily covered by Iowa House District 41 prior to the redistricting that followed the 2000 US Census. Dan Kelley held the 41st House District from 2011 to 2013 and then the 29th House District from 2013 to 2017. Democrat Wes Breckenridge vacated the seat in September.
“Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state,” Gov. Kim Reynolds tweeted Tuesday night. “Candidates who stood strongly for parental choice, personal responsibility, and pro-growth policies were successful. And we are just getting started.”
School choice advocacy organization The American Federation for Children congratulated Dunwell, whose victory they said “represents an increase in school choice support” in the Iowa House.
“In the last two years, parental demand for better options and more say in their children’s education has grown dramatically,” American Federation for Children CEO Tommy Schultz said in a statement on the organization’s website. “With Jon Dunwell’s election to the House, Iowa’s parents will have another strong advocate for giving them the chance to choose the best education possible for their children.”
Iowa Democrats Chair Ross Wilburn said in a tweet Wednesday that he was grateful Mullan ran a campaign around “priorities Iowans care about – ensuring access to high-quality and affordable health care, investing in our public schools, and creating jobs with wages you can raise a family on.”
“We’re in this fight for a better Iowa for all of us for the long haul, and this election doesn’t change that,” Wilburn said. “Change is coming and we won’t give up now.”