By Craig Robinson
Three weeks after being elected to a sixth tern in the Iowa House, State Representative Brian Quirk is resigning his seat and giving no explanation why he’s leaving. Quirk represents House District 52 in northeast Iowa. Quirk’s bizarre move means that there will be a special election to fill his vacated seat during the legislative session.
Quirk was one of the more moderate Democrats serving in the Iowa House. He broke with Democrat leadership and voted for an Amendment to the Iowa Constitution that would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He also broke with his party to oppose legislation that would have ended federal deductibility, and he voted against a number of pro-union bills.
House District 52 has a solid Democrat registered voter advantage. Democrats out number Republicans in the District 6,798 to 5,475. Quirk’s voting record made it difficult for Republicans to make a strong case against him, now Republicans have an opportunity to gain a seat if they can find a strong candidate. Since the district is largely rural and President Obama is not on the ballot, Quirk’s resignation presents Speaker Kraig Paulsen with an opportunity to gain back one of the seven seats that he lost on November 6th.
Republicans and Democrats are already in the midst of a special election that was triggered when State Senator Pat Ward passed away just weeks before the general election. That race will be decided on December 11th. Quirk’s resignation means that the campaign season will now stretch into 2013.
Quirk did not draw a Republican opponent in 2012. He easily defeated independent candidate Craig Clark with 72 percent of the vote.
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