By Craig Robinson
Various media outlets, including the Des Moines Register, are reporting that should State Senator Pat Ward, who passed away this morning after battling cancer, defeat her Democrat opponent on November 6th, and special election would be called before the Iowa Legislature convenes in January.
Ward’s name will remain on the ballot and the ballots will be counted, but the Iowa code states that those results will not be canvassed and a special election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the second Monday in December. That means regardless of the outcome in Senate District 22 on Election Day, a special election will be held on December 11th between Democrat Desmund Adams and a Republican candidate selected at a special nominating convention.
Below is Iowa code section 49.58 that deals with the unexpected death of a candidate during the general election.
Since Republicans only need to gain two seats to gain control of the Iowa Senate, the special election in Senate District 22 may very well end up determining who controls the chamber. Senate District 22 is a Republican leaning seat that Republicans expected to win with Ward on the ballot in November. It is also worth noting that the Ron Paul influence within county Republican central committees could also influence the type of candidate that Republicans nominate.
It looks like central Iowans are not going to get any rest from politics until the Senate District 22 race is determined.
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