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Lykam Bests Gonazales In Fight for IDP Relevance: Gonzales Running For State House

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Jim Lykam won the Special Election to replace State Senator Dr. Joe Seng, who passed away in September. Filling the vacancy will not have an impact on control of the Chamber where a Republican wave already ensured the GOP would control the legislature and the Governor’s mansion.

Although Democrats were heavily favored to win the seat based on party registration, they took no chances in the race. The Quad City Times reported that State Representative Jim Lykam planned to spend nearly $100,000 in order to ensure he graduated to the State Senate.

Republican challenger, Michael Gonzales, is a newcomer to politics. He serves as a Sergeant with the Le Claire Police Department.

James Weeks, a Scott County native who recently assisted in Congressman Rod Blum’s reelection in Dubuque, returned home to help Gonzales manage the race.

“We made an initial push to raise some money. We understood that the Iowa Firearms Coalition PAC and Life Right Action were going to put some money into the race so we figured it would be a better use of the our time to canvas. MacKenzie Dreeszen, an established Conservative fundraiser, was soliciting Scott County donors. But after about a week of making fundraising calls I asked her to make voter contacts instead.”

Democratic activists criticized the timing of the election which was scheduled two days after Christmas, claiming it would depress turnout. Governor Branstad initially attempted to schedule the race for the vacancy during the November 8th election. However, the Scott County Auditor’s office resisted the effort, citing problems preparing the ballots for the international mailing date.

The County Auditor, Roxannna Moritz (D), also raised eyebrows when she posted an offer to “run” an absentee program for Representative Lykam’s on his Facebook page. The County Auditor serves as the local election official ensuring the integrity of the race.

Lykam’s successful bid for State Senate creates the need for another special election to fill the vacancy left in the State House, where totals for active voters include 7,508 Democrats, 4,797 Republicans, and 8,474 No Party Voters. The district has not been challenged by a Republican since the 2012 redistricting following the census. A low turnout special election in an open seat might swing the district towards Republicans in Davenport where the GOP has had previous success.

Michael Gonzales is a resident of district 89 and plans to enter the race for the vacant State House seat.

Photo: Michael Gonzales thanks supporters

–John Thompson of Jefferson is a graduate of West Point and Harvard University. He is a candidate for State Treasurer and serves on the State Central Committee for the Republican Party of Iowa.