High stakes in state Senate elections
IOWA CITY (AP) — While the presidential race is getting the most attention in Iowa and elsewhere, a handful of state Senate races could determine whether Iowans get their most conservative state government in years and likely policy changes that will have a greater impact on their lives.
Republicans and aligned interest groups have launched an aggressive bid to wrest control of the state Senate from Democrats, who’ve led the chamber for six years. If Republicans pick up two seats and retain a majority in the state House, as expected, their party would control the full General Assembly and the governor’s office for the first time since 1998.
That development would allow the approval of a series of conservative economic and social policies that Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has blocked over the past two years with Democrats holding the Senate 26-24. Republicans would again push for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, a law to require voters to show identification at the polls, and cuts for state workers’ health care benefits. Controversial education reform plans would also likely be on the agenda.
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