Republicans keep several Eastern Iowa Senate seats

District 38 candidates both trained with 50-50 in 2020 campaign to help get more women into office

The Senate chambers are seen from the galley area at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines in December. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazett
The Senate chambers are seen from the galley area at the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines in December. (Andy Abeyta/The Gazette)

Several Eastern Iowa Senate seats stayed in Senate control Tuesday night.

Republican Dawn Driscoll of Williamsburg beat Democrat Ivy Schuster of Searsboro with more than 60 percent of the vote in District 38, previously served by GOP Sen. Tim Kapucian, who will retire in January.

“I’m very excited,” Driscoll said late Tuesday. “I have big shoes to fill.”

» ELECTION RESULTS: See more Iowa Legislature race results, plus national and local elections

Campaigning in 2020 wasn’t like she imagined, with the COVID-19 pandemic and then the derecho.

“There was nothing normal about it,” she said. Still, Driscoll and her team tried to get out and do door knocking throughout the district, which includes Benton, Iowa and Poweshiek counties.

Driscoll, who farms with her husband and is acting president of the Iowa County Farm Bureau, said she is eager to make sure farmers are well represented in the Iowa Senate.

Driscoll and Schuster, who works in Information Technology at Grinnell College, both were part of the 50-50 in 2020 campaign, which focused on helping Iowa women of both parties get elected, Vinton Today reported in February.

District 38

Spillville Mayor Mike Klimesh, a Republican, won District 28 with 62 percent of the vote over Democrat Decorah businessman Matt Tapscott. This seat was previously held by retiring GOP Sen. Michael Breitbach of Strawberry Point.


District 28 includes all of Allamakee and Clayton counties and parts of Winneshiek and Fayette counties.

Klimesh, who manages Graphics Inc. in Calmar and has served as Spillville mayor for 22 years, ran unsuccessfully for the Iowa House in 2010 and 2012, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported in February.

Tapscott, former chairman of the Winneshiek County Democrats, owns and operates Almost Home Early Learning-Naturally, a state-regulated in-home child care center, according to his website. He also serves as president of the Iowa Family Child Care Association.

Other Senate races

Sen. Dan Zumbach, R-Ryan, won District 48 with 65 percent of the vote over Democratic challenger Eric Green of Monticello.

Zumbach, a farmer who has served in the Senate since 2013, and Green, a pizzeria owner, were competing in a district that covers most of Delaware County and parts of Linn, Jones and Buchanan counties.

Republican Sen. Craig Johnson of Independence beat Democrat Pam Egli of Waverly 61 percent to 38.8 percent in Senate District 32, which includes parts of Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan and Fayette counties.

In District 42, Republican Jeff Reichman of Montrose had a lead over Democratic Sen. Rich Taylor of Mount Pleasant, but there was only a small share of votes in at 11 p.m. Tuesday. District 42 includes parts of Washington, Lee, Henry and Jefferson counties.

Sen. Liz Mathis D-Hiawatha won Senate District 34 after running unopposed.

Comments: (319) 339-3157; erin.jordan@thegazette.com

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