Senate redistricting

On April 19, 2011, Iowa became one of the first states in the nation to enact both a congressional redistricting plan and a state legislative redistricting plan.

Governor Terry Branstad signed the bill into law on April 19, 2011, stating, “We can have some pride in the fact that Iowa has a system for reapportionment that is fair, that really gives the people an opportunity to choose their congressmen and their representatives and senators in a competitive system that isn’t in favor of one party or the other.”

Mary Jo Wilhelm (D) is currently the local senator for District 8, which includes Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee and Chickasaw Counties. After the redistricting, Wilhelm’s territory shifted to the west.

She lost Allamakee and three-fourths of Winneshiek but gained Mitchell, Worth, Floyd and the eastern edge of Cerro Gordo, which will be District 26.

Merlin Bartz (R) is current senator of District 6 and lives in Worth County. Amanda Ragan (Mitchell, Floyd and part of Cerro Gordo) currently serves District 7 and was moved to District 27.

If both choose to run, Bartz and Wilhelm will be vying for the District 26 seat. They would face off November 2012.

After learning of the new district lines, Wilhelm stated, “As the state senator of the new Senate District 26, I will continue to focus on job creation, great local schools and a balanced budget that does not raise taxes. I also will continue to represent the citizens of my current Senate District until the end of the 84th General Assembly next year.”

Brian Quirk (D) is currently the local representative serving Howard, Chickasaw and western Winneshiek Counties for House District 15.

After the redistricting, his area will be District 52, containing Chickasaw, Floyd and far eastern Cerro Gordo Counties.

Howard, northwest Winneshiek, Mitchell and Worth are now in area 51 (couldn’t resist).

Currently, Worth is represented by Henry V. Rayhons, (R) who actually lives in Hancock; Mitchell County’s rep is Josh Byrnes (R) of Mitchell; and Bob Hager (R) represents Winneshiek, from Allamakee. Byrnes would be the only incumbent eligible to run for Howard County in the next election.

Currently, Rep. Tom Latham (R) represents Iowa’s District 4, which includes Howard County.

With Iowa losing one seat, from five representatives to four, the districts changed. Howard County will move into District 1 with Bruce Braley (D) as the representative.


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