Iowa Senate Races: A Closer Look At The Leaners (SD 22)

(Click for The Conservative Reader:Iowa’s complete overview of the 2012 Legislative Races)

The Candidates

Pat Ward (R) vs. Desmund Adams (D)

Pat Ward is an incumbent Senator from a different district, while Desmund Adams is an attorney who currently runs a executive search and public relations firm.

The District

Senate District 22 is comprised of both Polk and Dallas Counties.  The cities that make the district are Clive, Waukee, and the Western part of West Des Moines.  As you could likely guess this is pretty heavy Republican territory, though the actual registration advantage is smaller than one would think.  Registrations= R 15,374 – D 10,564 –  NP – 12,464 (R + 4,810).

The Race

Instead of staying put and running against Matt McCoy after map day, Ward chose to move west and was greeted by a challenge from the right by Waukee pastor Jeff Mullen.  The primary that unfolded between these two got truly out of hand, with Mullen crossing the line multiple times from tough attacks to outrageous defamation.  This forced Ward to respond heavy with radio advertising and deplete far more funds than I am sure she was hoping to.  The end result was that Mullen’s conduct backfired and he was defeated by 16 points.

The reasons for this seat landing in the leaner category instead of solid Republican are that (1) Ward just moved into the district, (2) she went through a bruising primary with a popular pastor, (3) at the last filing she had about $7,000 less than Adams, (4) the registration advantage is technically surmountable, and last but not least, (5) Adams is flat out a great candidate.  If he were running in an even district, I would bet money on Adams being able to win over voters and prevail.

I do think this seat will go Republican in the end.  The reasoning here is, (1) the math and the political leanings of the district , (2) if the Party thinks the seat is endangered they will spend big to keep it, (3) Ward will be able to kill Adams on his support of “stimulus” as a general governing tactic to deal with economic issues, and (4) Adams support of liberal social policy will hurt him badly in the Western part of the district (Mullen’s home base).

Though he is wisley making the pitch that “moderation needs a voice”, Adam’s positions do not seem to suggest that he is a moderate Democrat at all.  The reason I say “suggest” is that he only lists “beliefs” on his website (which include pro-choice and pro-gay marriage positions), and nothing specific on individual pieces of legislation or votes he would make.

What strikes me most about this race is that Desmund Adams, even in defeat, will be a major player for Democrats going forward–you have not heard the last of him.

Further Information

Pat Ward – wardforiowa.com

Desmund Adams – desmundadams.com

 

About the Author

Mr. Arnold is a long time constitutional conservative. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature from the University of Iowa. Over the last few years he has been involved in numerous political campaigns, most recently serving as campaign manager for an Iowa House candidate and serving as a city chair for Tom Latham. He is self-employed, running a small business in Ankeny, Iowa where he resides with his wife.

 

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