It is Election Day in Warren and Madison counties as voters head to the polls to select their new state senator. Republican Julian Garrett, an Iowa House representative, faces Democrat Mark Davitt, a former House rep. in a special election to fill the vacancy for Senate District 13. The seat opened up when Kent Sorenson resigned from the Iowa Senate last month.
“I would say guardedly optimistic,” Garrett told TheIowaRepublican.com. “I think things are looking ok. I think we’ve done about everything we could do and it will be up to the voters and it will depend on, of course, who turns out to vote.”
Hanging onto the seat is vital for Republicans. A Garrett victory would return the balance in the Iowa Senate to 26-24, with Democrats holding the narrow edge, heading into the mid-term elections. Claiming the majority in the senate is one of the top goals for Iowa Republicans next year.
To help ensure Garrett’s victory, Republicans from around the state have pitched in to help. Senator Chuck Grassley, Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, State Auditor Mary Mosiman, Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix and others have campaigned with Garrett.
Those elected officials have also helped rally Garrett’s army of doorknockers. Along with local central committee members and other activists, Pottawattamie County GOP Chairman Jeff Jorgensen and College Republicans from around the state are among those hitting the streets to turn out the vote for Garrett. RNC National Committeewoman Tamara Scott, who lives in the district and competed against Garrett in the nominating convention, has also volunteered significant time and effort. Due to their efforts, the early voting numbers are looking strong for Garrett.
“We have had more success than I had a right to suspect,” Garrett said. “There have been dozens of people out helping. Saturday, I didn’t count, but we must have had 40 people or so at the headquarters, including a lot of young people, college students. Every day we’ve had a few people going out, but on the weekends is where we really concentrated and we’ve pretty well covered the district I think. I just can’t think our grassroots people enough.”
The election cycle for this seat has been extremely short. Garrett was nominated just over a month ago. There have been no forums or debates. The candidates are running on their records, and Julian Garrett believes his record speaks for itself.
“I’ve said all along over the years that I’m a fiscal and social conservative,” Garrett said. “I’m not going to pick one over the other but I’m trying to do the best I can to push conservatism in both areas.”
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