WASHINGTON — At the close of filing for Iowa’s pivotal General Assembly elections, Republicans are retiring in droves rather than defend their records this November. Eight of the 53 members of the House Republican caucuses have announced retirements, including Majority Leader Chris Hagenow.
“Iowa Republicans are sprinting for the exits — and I can’t say that I blame them,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “The GOP has been busy pushing extremist policies rather than focus on the issues that matter to Iowans. Flipping the Iowa House from red to blue is one of our top priorities this year, and we’re happy to help show Republicans the door.”
Since President Trump’s election, Democrats have gained six seats in Iowa’s House, meaning they need to flip just four from red to blue to gain a majority for the first time since 2010. Iowa Democrats’ path to the majority was made easier last year when the state’s longest-serving Republican lawmaker joined the Democratic Party over his disgust with Trumpism. The DLCC has already invested more than $100,000 to support Iowa Democrats in their quest to flip the chamber.
With candidate filing closed, Democrats have fielded candidates in 87 out of 100 districts in the Iowa House. In comparison, Republican candidates filed in just 79 districts — the clearest indication yet that Democrats are on the offense in Iowa this year. Half of Democratic candidates are women, while just over 20 percent of Republican candidates are.
Earlier this year, the DLCC launched a $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.