Iowa Republican Caucus in Chaos as Lawmakers Flee Competitive Districts

Press Releases

WASHINGTON — In the latest round of Republican retirements in state legislatures across the country, Iowa Republicans were dealt another blow with Rep. Gary Carlson’s announcement that he would not seek re-election in HD-91. Carlson represents a swing district, joining Rep. Louis Zumbach (HD-95) and Sen. Tom Greene (SD-44) as yet another Republican to leave a vulnerable seat open.

“Iowa Republicans are abandoning their seats rather than face voters in November,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “They would much rather call it quits than have to defend their attempts to cut school funding and limit access to health care. These retirements mean that Iowa Democrats are poised to take back the House and make gains in the Senate in November.”

With his announcement, Carlson joins a wave of Iowa Republicans who have announced they would not run for re-election this month, giving Democrats a clear path to taking back the House from the fragile Republican majority. Democrats only need to flip four House seats to win back the chamber.

The Iowa House is one of the DLCC’s top targets in its $50 million Flip Everything campaign to win legislative majorities across the country. Since 2016, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 430 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.

“Democrats have an impressive slate of candidates running for these seats,” added Post. “Republican incumbents know their re-election is an uphill battle as they face qualified challengers and struggle to defend their radical views. With these retirements, our path to a Democratic victory in the Iowa House is clear.”