Either Republican State Representative Jim Carlin or Democrat Todd Wendt will succeed Bill Anderson in Iowa Senate district 3 following a special election on December 12. I enclose below background on both candidates and the political layout of this district, covering most of Plymouth County and a large area in Woodbury County, including neighborhoods on the south side of Sioux City.
Anderson resigned his legislative seat earlier this fall in order to become executive director of the Cherokee Area Economic Development Corporation. For reasons never explained to the public, he had been on the outs with Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, who quietly stripped him of his committee chairmanship shortly after the legislature adjourned this year.
Delegates to a GOP special nominating convention on November 13 chose Carlin, a Sioux City trial attorney, over Akron City Council member Alex Pick. Carlin has indicated he will advocate for social conservative issues and tax reform to make Iowa “far more competitive with our neighbors and put us on path to substantive economic growth.
The lone candidate seeking the Democratic nomination at a November 11 district convention, Wendt has said his priorities include “helping create good-paying jobs in our small towns and rural areas, returning Iowa to #1 in education in the country, providing more fiscal discipline and accountability at the Iowa Capitol, and restoring and protecting the rights of Iowa workers.” He recently retired after 17 years as a public school superintendent in Le Mars. His father, Roger Wendt, represented part of Sioux City in the Iowa House for eight years.
Senate district 3 is a heavy lift for any Democrat. The latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicate that the district contains 8,729 active registered Democrats, 17,658 Republicans, and 13,117 no-party voters. Donald Trump outpolled Hillary Clinton among voters
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