Iowa Gov. says GOP will pick up state seats in 2012
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Despite his party losing a critical Iowa Senate special election on Nov. 8, Republican Gov. Terry Branstad believes the GOP can pick up five or six seats in the Iowa Legislature in 2012.
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/Governor-Branstad-99x150.jpgTerry Branstad
“I’m looking around the state and I’m not going to tell you what districts those are, but I think with the changes in reapportionment there’s some open seats and I think there’s a great opportunity,” Branstad said.
Republican Cindy Golding was defeated by Democrat Liz Mathis in that Senate District 18 special election. Had the GOP won, control of the Iowa Senate would have been split, 25-25.
Instead, Democrats maintained the narrowest of majorities and the Senate will likely remain the only roadblock to controversial legislation from the Republican-dominated Iowa House.
Branstad said he told the Senate Republican caucus on Thursday “every campaign is different,” with major factors being the quality of candidate, how hard they’re willing to work and what kind of message they bring.
Image has not been found. URL: http://media.iowaindependent.com/2009/12/behn-100x150.jpgJerry Behn
“The most important thing is to recruit the very best candidate,” Branstad said. “And you’ve got to work extraordinarily hard, you’ve got to raise the money, the resources you need to do the job, and I think that we can do that and I’m very encouraged.”
Senate Republican Leader Jerry Behn (R-Boone) said the caucus is on the same page after analyzing that special election. The group determined the abbreviated election made a big difference in the race: Mathis is a former TV news anchor with excellent name-recognition in the district.
“I think with a short election like that and a very well-known candidate that made it very difficult to actually have issues become part of the campaign,” Behn said.
Branstad made similar comments the day before the election, saying the GOP “faces an uphill battle” in the race and warning people not to read too much into the results.