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Republicans Score Victory, Flip Iowa House Seat

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In what could be a sign of things to come for Democrats as the 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential elections approach, the party just lost a seat it has held since 1992.

Last week Republican Jon Dunwell successfully flipped Iowa House District 29 in a special election that came after the incumbent Rep. Wes Breckenridge quit to take a job with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, The Des Moines Register reported.

Dunwell led Democrat Steve Mullan Tuesday night with 60% of the vote, a difference of 930 votes, according to the Jasper County Auditor’s Office. The results are unofficial until they are certified by the Jasper County Board of Supervisors.

Dunwell, 55, is a pastor and financial services representative who has lived in Newton with his wife for 10 years. They have two children and two dogs. Previously, he was a pastor in Orlando, Florida, for 21 years.

“Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse,” Dunwell said after his victory. “Throughout this campaign, I have had the honor of hearing from so many of you — those who agreed with me and those who offered opposing viewpoints. I have learned so much and am eager to get to work representing each and every one of you.”

“Community engagement is very important to me. Being out and among people is very important to me. Giving everyone a seat at the table is very important to me,” he said.

“My passion is for Jasper County and Iowa. The team that I work with is for the Republicans,” he said.

The victory expands the GOP’s majority in the Iowa House to 60 – 40. The Iowa Republican Party celebrated the victory.

“Last night, Republican Jon Dunwell flipped House District 29 by defeating Democrat Steve Mullan with almost 60 percent of the vote. This is the first time a Republican has represented this area in 46 years,” the party said.

“Newton and Jasper County are old union strongholds. The results of this special election show that blue-collar workers are leaving the Democrat Party in droves, and finding their new home in the Republican Party. This win is a testament to the conservative agenda pushed by Kim Reynolds, Pat Grassley, and Jack Whitver in the State legislature. Iowans are beginning to realize that when promises are made by Republicans, those promises are kept,” it said.

“Iowans in suburban and rural districts are realizing the Democrat Party has left them behind. It’s why the Iowa GOP has won all three special elections in 2021 – one seat in suburban Des Moines and two rural, old union districts.

“Iowa Democrats are going to be entering the 2022 election cycle with an identity crisis, while Iowa Republicans are gearing up and firing on all cylinders,” the party said.

Individual Republicans in the state also congratulated the new representative.

“Iowans are sending a clear message – they wholly reject the policies and agenda of Iowa Democrats. The Iowa Democrat Party has left Iowans behind,” Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. “It is the Republican Party, our candidates and elected officials who continue to stand with Iowans, uphold their values, and fight to defend them. I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish, but we are not going to become complacent. We will defend these tremendous leaders and begin to put an end to the chaos we are seeing coming out of Washington, D.C.”

“Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state,” Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said. “Candidates who stood strongly for parental choice, personal responsibility, and pro-growth policies were successful. And we are just getting started.”

“Jon has flipped a seat held by Democrats for decades,” House Speaker Pat Grassley said. “This is further confirmation that Iowans are resoundingly rejecting the liberal policies coming from D.C. and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa.”


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