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Republican Dawn Driscoll wins Senate District 46 over fellow incumbent Kevin Kinney
Republican Charlie McClintock takes Senate District 42 with more than 60% of the vote
Dawn Driscoll, a Williamsburg Republican, beat out fellow incumbent Kevin Kinney, in a fierce Iowa Senate race that included attack ads and cross-party endorsements.
Driscoll won with about 54 percent of the vote in Senate District 46, which includes parts of Johnson, Washington and Iowa counties.
The results still are unofficial.
Driscoll told the Southeast Iowa Union Tuesday night she was overwhelmed and happy with the result, which came after a long campaign that included knocking on more than 8,000 doors in the district.
“I was dedicated this whole time to getting out there and talking with the voters,” she said.
The incumbents were thrown into the same district by the 2021 redistricting process.
Kinney, an Oxford retired sheriff’s deputy and farmer, was endorsed by some Republicans, including Iowa Rep. Jarad Klein, who is retiring from the Iowa House.
But Driscoll had support from Gov. Kim Reynolds, who campaigned with her at recent events. Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann fired at Kinney in June saying he “votes in lock step with the liberal progressive of his party.”
Kinney, who has served in the Iowa Senate since 2015, did vote with the majority of his party 80 percent of the time in 2022, according to a Gazette Fact Checker analysis. But he went against most Democrats in February to vote for a 3.9 percent flat income tax rate and told The Gazette in October he would consider further tax law changes.
Driscoll is past president of the Iowa County Farm Bureau and has been chair of the Ag in the Classroom program in schools and nursing homes, according to her online bio. She has coached volleyball and basketball, taught religious education and served as a 4-H community leader and preschool board president.
Republican Charlie McClintock won Senate District 42, which covers much of rural Linn and Benton counties, with more than 55 percent of the vote Tuesday.
McClintock, a public safety dispatch supervisor from Alburnett, beat Jessica Wiskus, a Lisbon Democrat and academic researcher, and Bruce Gardner, a Garrison independent and private economic development manager.
McClintock, of Alburnett, was the only candidate in this race with previous political experience, serving in Iowa House District 95 since 2020.
Senate District 37
Democrat Molly Donahue garnered 56 percent of the vote, with all precincts reporting, to beat Republican Kurt Bendixen in Iowa Senate District 37, which includes eastern Cedar Rapids and Marion.
Donahue, a second-term state representative, narrowly won the June primary against Austin Frerick.
Democrat Liz Bennett won Senate District 39 with about 65 percent of the vote.
Bennett, who has served in the Iowa House since 2014, defeated Republican Bernie Hayes, a retired systems engineer, in the district that covers parts of Cedar Rapids and much of south-central Linn County between Ely and Fairfax.
Bennett, 40, a website expert, said earlier this fall her priorities are putting more teeth into water-quality legislation, increasing funding for public schools and finding affordable solutions to Iowa’s child care shortage.
Todd Taylor claimed Senate District 40 over former Cedar Rapids City Councilmember Kris Gulick. The district covers Robins, Hiawatha and parts of northwest, northeast and southwest Cedar Rapids.
Taylor, a retired union representative, served 12 terms in the Iowa House before being elected to the Senate in 2018. But Gulick also has political experience, serving on council from 2006 to 2018.
Republican Kerry Gruenhagen claimed a decisive win over Democrat Deb VanderGaast in Senate District 41.
Gruenhagen, a grain farmer from Walcott, told The Gazette last month he was inspired to seek election by his experience running a small business in Davenport. He’s a former president of the Muscatine County Farm Bureau and co-host of the Quad City Conservative Breakfast Club.
VanderGaast, a child care advocate and former child care center owner from Tipton, told The Gazette she opposes use of eminent domain for carbon dioxide pipelines, one of which is slated to run through Cedar County.
District 41 includes Cedar County, most of western Scott County and the townships of Montpelier, Moscow and Wapsinonoc in northern Muscatine County.
Janice Weiner, an Iowa City Council member and Democrat, easily won Iowa Senate District 45, with more than 80 percent of the vote over Republican Howard Weilbrenner.
Weiner, an Iowa City Council member and former U.S. diplomat, won a Democratic primary in June. At the time, she had no Republican challenger, but Howard Weilbrenner, a U.S. Army veteran, was nominated by Johnson County Republicans at convention.
District 45, which includes much of Iowa City and all of University Heights, was open because of Sen. Joe Bolkcom’s retirement after 24 years in the Senate.
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Kalen McCain of the Southeast Iowa Union contributed to this report.