Wes Breckenridge will remain western Jasper County's representative in Iowa House District 29.
Poll results from Tuesday night reveal the Democratic incumbent from Newton defeated his Republican opponent, Ann Howell of Colfax, 7,624 to 5,357. Breckenridge received 58 percent of the vote.
Breckenridge waited for — and later, celebrated — the election results at the Izaak Walton Club House alongside fellow party members. Following his win, the lifelong Jasper County resident and former Newton police officer will continue his stay in the Iowa statehouse and maintain his reputation for public service.
“It's been an honor and a pleasure to serve Jasper County as their state representative," Breckenridge said. "I'm excited to have the opportunity. They see the passion, the hard work and ethics that I put into it and try to serve them at the best of my ability. I look forward to continuing to serve them."
In the 2016 HD 29 primary, Breckenridge defeated former Rep. Dan Kelley, who then filed to run as an independent. Breckenridge then won the election against Kelley and Republican opponent Patrick Payton.
Tuesday night’s win secures another two-year term for Breckenridge.
“We talked Medicaid issues, mental health issues, education, jobs, budgets — things that I'm very passionate about and continue to work and engage with our constituents to find out what we need to do to continue to improve to make this state better for everybody," Breckenridge said. "I'm excited to get the opportunity to do that again."
A steadfast Howell led a grassroots campaign against Breckenridge, committed to her belief that it is the individual that counts in a campaign and not the amount of money spent.
Breckenridge was reported to have $6,629 cash on hand with no debt moving into the final three weeks of the campaign. A recent Newton Daily News article reported Howell had $668 cash on hand as of Oct. 14, although she began the race with no money at all. In a three-month period, Howell was able to raise $3,850, thanks in part to a $3,500 donation from the Republican Party of Iowa.
Commending his supporters, Breckenridge said he feels like he is very responsive to the residents of Jasper County, which he said may have played a part in his election.
"If somebody reaches out and needs something, I want to be there for them, just like when I was in law enforcement," Breckenridge said. "If somebody is in need or sees something we can do better to help the state and help Jasper County, I want to do it. That responsiveness and engagement that I have is what I hope resonates with them."
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org