Redistricting resulted in 13 incumbent vs. incumbent races across the country this year. 11 those were settled in primaries. That leaves only two such matchups in the general election. One takes place in Ohio. The other is here in Iowa, as Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell tangle for Iowa’s new third congressional district.
“I will tell you one thing. We all do our job, and I am going to win Polk County,” Latham said over the weekend at a Polk GOP fundraiser.
The road to victory in November runs through Polk County, not just for Latham and Boswell, but also in the presidential race. Iowa has become a crucial swing state in the election. Congressman Latham tried to rile the 150 attendees to work hard over the next 37 days to help the GOP ticket triumph.
“This is a team effort,” Latham said. “Politics is a team sport. That’s why we’ve got to have everyone on the same page, working together for that goal.”
Congressman Boswell has taken a lot of heat in the mainstream media for his continued negative and misleading attacks on his opponent. Tom Latham knew this would the Democrat’s tactics, because it mirrors Boswell’s previous campaigns.
“Leonard Boswell cannot run on his record,” Latham told the crowd. “This should be the clearest election. You’ve got two incumbent members of Congress who have voting records. Why not make a comparison of where we stand on issues? Because you know what, if Leonard Boswell did that, he would get 10 percent of the vote.”
Latham joked that Boswell wouldn’t even get Ed Fallon’s vote. Fallon, a liberal activist who primaried Boswell in 2008, made a very public proclamation last week encouraging Democrats not to support Boswell. He also said Boswell’s staff offered him an $80,000 per year job in exchange for not running in the 2008 congressional primary. Boswell responded by filing a defamation suit against Fallon late last week.
The Boswell-Fallon feud is an early Christmas present to the Latham campaign. Boswell’s lawsuit has resulted in national media picking up on the story. The timing could not possible be worse for Boswell. Congressman Latham continues to hammer Boswell’s record, which includes support of TARP, cap and trade, Dodd-Frank and Obamacare. Latham said he voted against every one of those bills on principle.
“After all they’ve done to destroy healthcare in this country, there’s still 30 million people that are going to be uninsured,” Latham said. “It doesn’t fix the problem. All it does is expand the federal government dramatically.”
Some recent polls show President Obama with a sizable lead over Mitt Romney in Iowa. However, more credible polls show the race much tighter. Latham predicted Romney would win Iowa. He also encouraged the crowd to vote early and ignore the polls.
“The Democrats are trying to put all these phony out there to try to make you think it’s over with,” Latham said. “And the fact of the matter is, internally we are doing extremely well. The intensity is on our side.”
Congressman Latham and Senator Grassley were the headliners for the Polk County GOP’s annual picnic. The event, held at Jalapeno Pete’s restaurant the state fairgrounds, raised an estimated $15,000 for the county party. The money will be used to help local Republican candidates win in November.
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