In less than a month, the voters of Iowa House District 29 are expected to participate in a special election to determine who will be their next representative. Until then, the central committees from both the Democratic and Republican parties must schedule conventions to choose their nominees.
Both parties have scheduled their central committee conventions on Sept. 23. These meetings will determine which Democrat and Republican will run for the seat previously held by Democrat Wes Breckenridge, who was serving his third term when he resigned after taking a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
The special election will be held Oct. 12.
Candidates competing for the seat must file by Sept. 28. The Iowa Secretary of State’s Office said due to the Iowa Legislature convening a special session on Oct. 5, the governor is required to set the election date at the earliest practical date with 18 days’ notice. Otherwise, the seat would have to be filled in 40 days.
“If you plan to vote absentee by mail, get your request in as soon as possible,” Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate said, adding that people can vote in-person at the auditor’s office through Oct. 11 and at polls Oct. 12. “…I encourage every eligible Iowan in House District 29 to make their voice heard by being a voter.”
Randy Ervin, a member of the Newton City Council, all but confirmed he would run for Breckenridge’s former seat. In a Facebook post, Ervin, a Republican, thanked Breckenridge, a Democrat, for representing District 29. He also thanked the people who contacted him and asked him to consider running.
However, Ervin did not directly say he would run and said he would follow the process where the local Republican central committee chooses its candidate.
Unsurprisingly, Breckenridge’s 2020 opponent Jon Dunwell announced he would run for the vacant seat and has already begun soliciting donations. He, too, spoke of the central committee process on his candidate Facebook page. Dunwell said when a candidate is chosen the general campaign begins.
The Jasper County Auditor’s Office has been notified of the special election.
In a Facebook post on Sept. 15, the auditor’s office said voters in the precincts of Clear Creek/Poweshiek (Mingo), Colfax, Des Moines (Prairie City), Hickory Grove (Kellogg), Independence/Malaka/Mariposa (Baxter), Mound Prairie/Washington and all of Newton can vote in the special election.
However, because of the short notice, absentee voting will not begin until the county auditor’s office receives candidate certifications from the Iowa Secretary of State’s Office, which won’t be until Sept. 29; the ballot layouts will not be ready until after that date, the auditor’s office stated.
The auditors are unsure when they will receive ballots, too. But once the ballots arrive, voters may vote in the Jasper County Auditor’s Office until Oct. 11. In order to better accommodate absentee voters, the auditor’s office will be open Saturday, Oct. 9 for this special election only.
Polls will be open on Election Day from 7 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Jasper County Auditor’s Office is working on polling locations and will provide updated information soon.
Requests for absentee ballots through the mail must be received by the Jasper County Auditor by Sept. 27, the secretary of state’s office said. Absentee ballots must be received by the county auditor by 8 p.m. on Oct. 12. Voters and candidates needing more information should visit www.sos.iowa.gov.
Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or email@example.com