In Iowa Senate 18, Mathis, Golding stick to basics

Candidates implement more door-knocking, phone calls and television commercials

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MARION - Candidates in a Nov. 8 special election in a Linn County Senate race agree on one thing: stick to the game plan.

That means more door-knocking, phone calls and television commercials for Democrat  Liz Mathis and Republican Cindy Golding, who are seeking to fill a vacant seat in Iowa Senate 18 in northern and western Linn County.

“The last five days are all about talking to as many voters as you can and making sure your supporters and those who learn your way are headed to the polls,” said Don McDowell, a spokesman for Golding.

Golding’s campaign will continue making calls and knocking on doors to “communicate Cindy Golding’s message of job creation, lower taxes and education.”

Likewise, the Mathis campaign will keep knocking on doors in the final days of the campaign.

“That’s the most effective way,” said Mathis.

It’s not the only way, however. Mathis will add two-minute television commercials to her advertising campaign this weekend.

The ads are meant to be “a bookend to the positive campaign message we’ve been putting out since Day 1,” the former television anchorwoman explained.

“We felt there was a segment of voters that these longer ads would appeal to – voters who are really taking their time to gather all the information before making their decision,” Mathis said.

The special election has taken on significance because it could change the balance of power in the Senate where Democrats hold a 25-24 advantage following the resignations of Marion Democrat Swati Dandekar. So if Golding is elected, the Senate would be split 25-25 between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans believe a tie would give them more opportunities to bring up legislation sent over from the House, which the GOP controls 60-40. It also could make it more difficult for Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, D-Council Bluffs, to continue to block action on a resolution to allow Iowans to vote on a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Mathis supports a 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision striking down the state ban on same-sex marriage. Golding would support a referendum as a way to resolve the issue. Until Iowans have the opportunity to vote, she said, all political energy is tied up in the fight over same-sex marriage at the expense of other issues.

That position will earn her the endorsement of Family Research Council Action. The group’s Values Voter Bus Tour will announce its endorsement at a rally with Chris Plante, executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, at 11 a.m. Nov. 7 at the Wal-mart parking lot at 5491 Highway 151, Marion.

Friday, Mathis filed her campaign finance report with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board. It showed she had raised $64,303 and spent $46,519 between Oct. 15 and Nov. 1. It also showed she has $58,629 cash on hand as of Nov. 1.

The Mathis campaign also received $269,899 in in-kind contributions from the Iowa Democratic Party.

Mathis earlier reported raising $42,038, spending $36,652 and having $14,620 cash on hand.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 8. Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Nov. 7. On Election Day a voter may hand-deliver his or her absentee ballot to the Linn County Auditor’s Elections Office, 2500 Edgewood Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids, until 9.m.

When the Elections Office closed Friday, 6,549 absentee ballots had been returned. Ballots from registered Democrats accounted for 52 percent, Republicans 25 percent and 23 percent from “no party” voters.

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