UPH Government & External Affairs

2020 Election Preview: Iowa

by | Oct 15, 2020

Click here for a visual summary of Iowa’s 2020 state and federal elections.

Election Preview: Iowa General Assembly

Currently, majority of the Iowa House of Representatives, Senate and the Governor’s office are held by the Republican Party. The 2020 General Election will include all 100 Iowa House and half (25) of Iowa Senate seats on the ballot. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, elected to her first four-year term in 2018, will be up for reelection in 2022.

Eighteen current state Representatives and Senators have announced their retirements, including:

Iowa House

  • Rep. Gary Carlson (R-Muscatine)

  • Rep. Ted Gassman (R-Ottumwa)

  • Rep. Chris Hagenow (R-Urbandale)

  • Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa (R-Council Bluffs)

  • Rep. Dan Huseman (R-Aurelia)

  • Rep. and former House Speaker Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake)

  • Rep. Louie Zumbach (R-Cedar Rapids)

  • Rep. and current Iowa Congressional 1st District Challenger Ashley Hinson (R-Cedar Rapids)

  • Rep. Tim Kacena (D-Sioux City)

  • Rep. Mark Smith (D-Marshalltown)

  • Rep. Bruce Bearinger (D-Oelwein)

Iowa Senate

  • Sen. and President Pro Tempore Jerry Behn (R-Boone)

  • Sen. Mike Breitbach (R-Strawberry Point)

  • Sen. and Iowa Congressional 4th District Challenger Randy Feenstra (R-Hull)

  • Sen. Tom Greene (R-Burlington)

  • Sen. Tim Kapucian (R-Keystone)

  • Sen. Mark Segebart (R-Vail)

  • Sen. and Senate President Charles Schneider (R-West West Moines)

Iowa General Assembly: Current Composition and Election Preview

nullA Look Ahead: 2021 Iowa General Assembly

The 89th Iowa General Assembly will begin its first of two legislative sessions on January 11, 2021. The legislative per diem for the first session of a General Assembly is paid out for 110 days versus the second year at 100 days.

Following the 2020 General Election, the state legislature’s four caucuses will determine leadership and committee assignments based on whether they are in the majority and which candidates won their respective races. A private vote within the individual caucuses will determine leadership positions, who will then select committee chairs and individual committee assignments for their caucus members. 

Should both chambers maintain Republican majorities, several key positions will need to be filled due to retirements, including:

  • President of the Senate (vacated by Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines)

  • Senate Appropriations Chair (vacated by Sen. Mike Breitbach, R-Strawberry Point)

  • Senate Transportation Chair (vacated by Sen. Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone)

  • House Commerce Chair (vacated by Sen. Gary Carlson, R-Muscatine)

Should the Iowa House “flip” from its current Republican majority to Democrat majority following the 2020 General Election, Democrats will need to vote for a new Speaker of the House, House Majority Leader and other leader positions before committee assignments are determined.

Election Preview: Iowa’s Congressional Delegation

Iowa has four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and two seats in the U.S. Senate. In the 2020 General Election, all four House seats and the junior Senate seat are on the ballot. The 117th U.S. Congress is scheduled to begin on January 3, 2021.

U.S. House

District 1 – First-term Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D) is running against former Iowa State Representative and journalist Ashley Hinson (R).

District 2 – This is an open-seat race as Rep. Dave Loebsack (D) announced his retirement in 2019. Candidates are former Iowa State Senator and ophthalmologist Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) and farmer and former educator Rita Hart (D)

District 3 – First-term Rep. Cindy Axne (D) is running against the district’s former representative David Young (R), who she defeated in the 2018 General Election.

District 4 – This is an open-seat race as current Rep. Steve King (R) was defeated in the 2020 Primary Election. Candidates are former Iowa State Senator and businessman Randy Feenstra (R) and paralegal and retired professional baseball player J.D. Scholten (D).

U.S. Senate

For this statewide office, incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst, who was first elected in 2020, faces Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield.

For more information about State of Iowa advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory efforts, please contact Ashley Thompson, director of government & external affairs for UnityPoint Health.

For more information about federal advocacy, legislative, policy and regulatory efforts, please contact Cathy Simmons, executive director of regulatory affairs for UnityPoint Health.