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Iowa City Election Guide

The candidates, incumbents and issues that will be affecting Iowa City and Johnson County.

As we look ahead to November’s elections, Iowa City Patch is devoted to bringing you the information you need about every race in town. Here are some that locals are already talking about:

President Barack Obama: Prognosticators call Iowa a battleground state in the presidential race, and two recent visits by President Obama to the Hawkeye State seem to bear that out. In April,  to talk about the need to keep student loan interest rates down, then in May he stumped in Des Moines on the economy, abortion rights, gays in the military and his desire to lead the country forward.

As Iowa City has been a popular stop for the president in the past, you can be sure he or his surrogates will be through here again.

GOP Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney: The former Massachusetts governor has visited the state three times in the past month, usually focusing his comments on the economy. In a May Des Moines appearance, . On June 18 Romney campaigned in Dubuque and Davenport, criticizing President Obama’s policies with dragging down the economy, according to the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

Unlike President Obama, Romney may not visit Iowa City if he holds true to his pattern in the caucus, when when he came to Johnson County.

The Johnson County Justice Center

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek has been championing the need for a new county jail since the last time it came up for a vote (and was defeated) a decade ago. Now he and other jail supporters are going to get another chance to put the bond before voters this November, with a $46.8 million county-wide bond that will also cover the cost of integrating the new jail and new courtrooms with the aging courthouse, creating a new justice center.

Redistricting Madness

Some local elections will have an interesting twist due to the recent redistricting.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack (D- Iowa City) will face a challenge from Republican lawyer John Archer who hails from Bettendorf in a new second district that stretches from Iowa City to the Quad Cities.

Longtime Johnson County Supervisor Sally Stutsman, a Democrat, will be running for a newly created Iowa House Seat (new district 77) against a Republican, Steve Sherman of North Liberty. While well known Solon philanthropist and builder Dick Schwab is running against Bobby Kaufmann for new State House District 73. Bobby Kaufmann is the son Jeff Kaufmann, a Republican state house mainstay in nearby Cedar County who vacated the spot to run for Cedar County Board of Supervisors.

New District 73 spans all of Cedar County and a section of northern Johnson County. New District 77 includes a large section of North Liberty and an area to the west in Johnson County.

Iowa Supreme Court retention:

Two years ago Iowans ousted three members of the Supreme Court for their support of a unanimous ruling that allowed same-sex marriage in the state. This November, another justice who took part in that ruling, David S. Wiggins, is up for retention. Also up for retention are the three newest justices on the court, who replaced those who lost their seats. The three new justices on the ballot are Thomas D. WatermanEdward Mansfield and Bruce Zager.

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