DES MOINES, Iowa — There is a lot of attention surrounding the contentious national campaigns, but in Iowa there is a chance for a shift in power at the statehouse.
After four years of Republican control in the Iowa House of Representatives, Senate and governor’s office, Democrats think they have a chance at flipping the House in November. Democrats feel confident about several hard-won seats from 2018 and think Iowans are ready for a little more balance.
Back in 2018, Iowa House Democrats narrowed Republicans’ edge in the chamber by gaining six seats, and Democrats are hoping to continue that momentum again this November. Right now, Republicans hold the chamber 53 to 47, so Democrats will have to take just four seats to flip the House.
“We have a good opportunity in several districts across the state to truly make an impact and flip seats. What that means might sound like ‘inside baseball’ … but everyone’s voice will be heard. We will have both parties at the table negotiating, and I think that kind of bipartisan work is what Iowans want,” said Democratic State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst.
Konfrst is one of those Democrats who flipped a Republican seat to Democrat in 2018. She represents one of the suburb swing districts that Democrats were able to pick up in the last cycle. She is hoping her constituents feel as though she made their voices heard, especially on economic and health care issues surrounding the pandemic.
But new challengers like entrepreneur and Pastor Eddie Andrews think they can appeal to swing voters who lean more Republican in their districts.
“I think we will flip this seat, but that’s up to the voters. I remain cautiously optimistic. I’m doing everything I can do on the local race … knocking every door on every street,” said Andrews, a Republican candidate for Iowa House District 39.
Andrews is running against Democratic State Rep. Karin Derry, who won by a slim margin in 2018. Derry and other Democrats who flipped seats in competitive districts will have a tough fight until November.