Republicans in the Iowa House won Tuesday’s special election and held the Democrats’ seat in the state for decades.
John Dunwell, 55, pastor and financial services representative, turned Iowa House District 29 from blue to red, after winning nearly 60% of the vote, in the Des Moines Register Reported. The newspaper said the victory, which marked the Republican Party’s second special election victory in recent weeks, would give the party a 60-40 majority in the state House.
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“Iowa is sending a clear message – they completely reject the policies and agenda of Iowa Democrats,” state Republican Party chief Jeff Kaufman said in a statement. He said his hope is that the state’s GOP will help “end the confusion that is coming out of Washington, DC.”
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The position was vacated when Wes Breckenridge, who was in charge of the Democratic Party that defeated Dunwell in 2020, resigned from his job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Dunwell defeated Democrat Steve Mullen, an 82-year-old retired teacher serving on Newton City Council.
The Iowa Secretary of State is yet to vote.
The victory caught the attention of Republican National Committee chief Ronna McDaniel, who tweeted Tuesday that Democrats have held the position for 46 years.
House Speaker Pat Grassley reported in the Register, “This further reinforces the fact that Iowans have been steadfastly rejecting liberal policies from DC and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa.”
Dunwell did not immediately respond to an email from LBL.
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Former President Trump shipped Iowa in 2020 with 53.2% of the vote. President Biden won 45% of the vote.
The Associated Press contributed to this report