Republican Candidate Wins in Iowa House Special Election, Flipping 28 Year Democrat Stronghold Red

Republicans flipped District 29 of the Iowa House last night in a special election. The seat had been held by Democrats for 28 years, the last Republican to be elected to the seat was Scott Krebsbach, who served from 1991 to 1993.

Republican Jon Dunwell ran against the Democrat nominee Steve Mullan. The results according to 270 to win, show Dunwell with 2,820 or 59.87% of the vote and Mullan with 1,890 or 40.13% of the vote, a 19 point win for Republicans.

Dunwell ran in 2020 against the incumbent Wes Breckenridge, Breckenridge held the seat but only by 3 points, a much smaller margin than the 17 points he won by in 2018. Breckenridge resigned to take a job with Iowa Law Enforcement which opened the seat for the special election.

This win widens the Republican majority of the Iowa House to 60-40.

Iowa Speaker of the House and grandson of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley shared a video of himself, Senator Grassley, and Dunwell on Twitter, encouraging people to get out and vote for Dunwell.

“Today is the day! Get out and vote Jon Dunwell for the Iowa House! #IAPolitics #IALegis

Dunwell issued a statement Tuesday night, “Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse. 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.”

The Des Moines Registrar reported:

Top Iowa Republicans quickly congratulated Dunwell on his victory.

“Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state,” Reynolds said in a statement. “Candidates who stood strongly for parental choice, personal responsibility, and pro-growth policies were successful. And we are just getting started.”

“Jon has flipped a seat held by Democrats for decades,” House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said in a statement. “This is further confirmation that Iowans are resoundingly rejecting the liberal policies coming from D.C. and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa.”

Dunwell campaigned on growing jobs, accessible health care for rural residents, lower taxes, “truth in taxation,” so residents understand more about their tax bills, and support for “individual freedoms.”

With many elections set for next month, we will see if this trend continues across the country. Many people are fed up with vaccine mandates and COVID restrictions. With Joe Biden’s approval ratings continuing to fall, Republicans may be able to pick up even more seats across the country.