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GOP flips seat in Iowa legislature that Democrats had controlled for 4 decades

Jon Dunwell
by WorldTribune Staff, October 13, 2021

Republican Jon Dunwell was the winner in Tuesday's special election for District 29 in the Iowa state House.

Dunwell, a 55-year-old pastor, flipped a seat that Democrats had controlled for 40 years.

Dunwell led Democrat Steve Mullan Tuesday night with 60 percent of the vote, a difference of 930 votes, according to the Jasper County Auditor's Office.

With Dunwell's victory, Republicans will widen their majority in the Iowa House to 60-40.

It's the second special election win for the Iowa GOP this fall. Last month, Republican Mike Bousselot's victory kept an Ankeny-based Iowa House seat under GOP control.

Top Iowa Republicans quickly congratulated Dunwell on his victory.

"Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state," Gov. Kim Reynolds said in a statement. "Candidates who stood strongly for parental choice, personal responsibility, and pro-growth policies were successful. And we are just getting started."

"Jon has flipped a seat held by Democrats for decades," state House Speaker Pat Grassley said in a statement. "This is further confirmation that Iowans are resoundingly rejecting the liberal policies coming from D.C. and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa."

Dunwell campaigned on growing jobs, accessible health care for rural residents, lower taxes, "truth in taxation," so residents understand more about their tax bills, and support for "individual freedoms."

Iowa House District 29 includes Newton, Colfax, Mingo, Kellogg, Prairie City, Baxter and parts of rural Jasper County.

"Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse," Dunwell said in a statement. "Throughout this campaign, I have had the honor of hearing from so many of you — those who agreed with me and those who offered opposing viewpoints. I have learned so much and am eager to get to work representing each and every one of you."

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