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PHOTOS: Iowa Senate District 18 readies for special election

The national buzz on Iowa’s upcoming special election in Senate District 18 may be focused on the future of civil marriage, but you’d never know it from the candidate outreach to local residents.

“Better jobs. Reduced regulations. Balanced budgets,” reads one direct mail piece from the Republican Party of Iowa on behalf of candidate Cindy Golding.

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/mathis_lundby_signs_300.jpgSenate District 18 residents might be taking a second glance at yards that feature both Mathis and Lundby signs. Daniel Lundby, son of now deceased long-time GOP legislator Mary Lundby, is seeking election to the Iowa House as a Democrat. (Photo: Lynda Waddington/The Iowa Independent)

The latest from the Iowa Democratic Party on behalf of candidate Liz Mathis promises “accountability for our tax dollars” and an end to “perks for top agency officials.”

In fact, of the more than a dozen direct mailers — all sent by the political parties, and the vast majority from Democrats — examined by The Iowa Independent, there is not one mention of marriage, abortion or any of the divisive social conservative issues that dominated the 2011 General Assembly.

As has been noted here and in other media, the Nov. 8 special election will decide if Democrats maintain a slim one-seat majority in the Iowa Senate or if the chamber will once again fall under co-party rule with 25 senators on either side of the aisle.

While an evenly split senate does not guarantee passage of the agenda pushed by religious conservatives — for instance, a constitutional amendment barring civil marriage for gays and lesbians or legislation that would outlaw all abortion and most birth control — it might make such proposals more palpable. Throughout the last legislative session social conservatives have lashed out at the Democratic majority, implying that the lawmakers aren’t Christian and are unethical.

As The Iowa Independent noted Thursday morning, Mathis has outraised Golding in the race thus far. Here’s a look at the messaging that has been bought with a portion of political contributions thus far:

Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/golding_mathis_city_signs.jpg

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