DES MOINES — Iowa could see one of its most lively elections in recent history this fall, with Republicans eager to regain control in the state Senate.
The party controls the governor’s office and state House. Gaining a majority in the Senate would clear the path for them to pursue their heavily conservative agenda, which Senate Democrats have fought off in previous years. Democrats currently only hold a two-seat majority.
Iowa Republicans back changes in labor relations, an issue that ignited political firestorms in other states, as well as further restrictions on abortion and a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. It also would give Gov. Terry Branstad a better chance of advancing his education reform plans to overhaul teacher and principal preparation programs, educator evaluations and Iowa’s accountability system.
The focus on November comes after Tuesday’s primaries, in which there were 25 GOP House and 10 Senate races. Less than half of them involved incumbents with challengers trying to unseat them.