Iowa election 2022: Who’s running for governor and for Congress?

Iowa State Capitol
Posted at 3:08 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-07 13:16:28-04

Only two of Iowa’s federal races have contested primaries, with many races already winnowed down to one candidate per party in the weeks ahead of the June 7 primary election.

Both Gov. Kim Reynolds and Sen. Chuck Grassley are up for reelection in 2022, and all four of Iowa’s House races will be contested. But just two of the races have primary fields. Multiple Democrats are lined up for Grassley’s Senate seat, and three Republicans are competing to challenge Rep. Cindy Axne in the 3rd District.

Reynolds and the Republican incumbents in the U.S. House face just one Democratic candidate each in the march toward November’s general election.

Here’s where the race stands as Iowa holds its primary election Tuesday.

Article last updated 6/7/22

Who’s running for Iowa governor in 2022?

Incumbent Reynolds, 62, officially launched her reelection bid in March. She focused her campaign launch on freedom, promising “Iowa is going to be a state where you can live your life freely,” if she is reelected.

As of May, Democrats have just one challenger to Reynolds: Deidre DeJear, a 35-year-old Democratic activist and former candidate for secretary of state. DeJear officially kicked off her gubernatorial campaign on Aug. 14. She spoke to the Iowa Capital Dispatch on Aug. 20 about her campaign priorities and the future of the Democratic party in Iowa.

Reynolds leads DeJear in polling and fundraising numbers. A March Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll found 51% of Iowans would vote for Reynolds in a match-up with DeJear. Just 43% said they would favor DeJear, and 5% said they were not sure who they would vote for.

DeJear raised just less than $740,000 in 2022, according to new campaign filings, after coming into the year with just $8,500 cash on hand. In the same time period, Reynolds raised more than $1.3 million — and has nearly $5 million in her war chest.

State Rep.Ras Smith withdrew his gubernatorial bid in January, citing fundraising difficulties.Smith, 33, has represented Waterloo in the Iowa House since 2017. Smith announced in February he will not seek re-election in the House.

Who’s running for Iowa’s Senate seat in 2022?

Grassley, 88, announced in September that he will run for an eighth term in the U.S. Senate. If he wins in 2022, he will be 95 years old at the conclusion of that term.

Multiple Democrats have lined up to challenge Grassley.

Former 1st District representative Abby Finkenauer, 33, announced in July that she would run for Senate in 2022. She was nearly removed from the primary ballot after two Republicans challenged her candidacy, arguing Finkenauer had not collected enough signatures on her nominating petitions. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously in April that Finkenauer may appear on the ballot

Doctor and Minden city council member Glenn Hurst, a 52-year-old Democrat, announced on July 29 he would run for Grassley’s seat. Hurst has framed himself as the most progressive Democrat in the race, frequently speaking in favor of Medicare for All.

Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Franken, 64, joined the race in October. He sought a Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2020, but lost the primary.

Grassley will also face a Republican primary challenge from state Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City. Carlin, 59, has aligned himself closely with former President Donald Trump. However, Trump endorsed Grassley during an October visit to Des Moines.

Sen. Joni Ernst, 51, will not be up for reelection until 2026.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 1st District in 2022?

Redistricting made things a little trickier for Iowa’s House races. Right now, Rep. Ashley Hinson represents Iowa’s 1st District, but she will reside in and run for the 2nd District in 2022.

Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, IA-02, announced in November that she will move into the 1st District and run for reelection there. Her home county of Wapello was drawn into the 3rd District in the new maps.

Miller-Meeks, 66, faces one challenger in the 1st District. State Rep. Christina Bohannan, a Democrat and University of Iowa law professor, announced her candidacy in August.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 2nd District in 2022?

Hinson, 38, will run in the 2nd District in 2022.

State Sen. Liz Mathis, a Democrat, will challenge Hinson in the new 2nd District. Both Hinson and Mathis, 63, are former television journalists.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 3rd District in 2022?

Rep. Cindy Axne, 56, announced in November that she will seek reelection in the 3rd District. The two-term incumbent faces several Republican challengers.

State Sen. Zach Nunn, 42, entered the race in July. Nunn represents Bondurant and has highlighted his Air Force career in campaign ads.

Republican Nicole Hassoalso announced her candidacy in July. The Johnston resident released a campaign video that emphasizes her opposition as a Black woman to Critical Race Theory. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas endorsed Hasso on Aug. 12.

Gary Leffler, a Republican activistbest known for his patriotic tractor, has also filed with the Federal Election Commission to challenge Axne. Leffler has not filed any campaign finance reports since launching his campaign.

Who’s running for Iowa’s 4th District in 2022?

First-term Rep. Randy Feenstra, 53, faces one opponent in the 4th District. Democrat Ryan Melton, 37, is an insurance supervisor in Story County. Melton raised just $1,477 in the first quarter of 2022.

Who’s running for Iowa’s other statewide offices?

Secretary of State: Two Democratic candidates — both county auditors and commissioners of elections — are running to face incumbent Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate in the general election.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, 66, said he was motivated to run for statewide office after Trump’s presidential campaign sued Miller for sending prefilled absentee ballot request forms to voters. A judge ruled in favor of the campaign, invalidating 50,000 request forms sent by Miller’s office.

Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker, 53, has held his county auditor seat for 12 years, and served as president of the Iowa State Association of County Auditors in 2014. In an interview with the Des Moines Register, he said he could build better relationships with Iowa county auditors across party lines.

State auditor:

Two Republicans are vying in the June 7 primary for the chance to challenge incumbent Democrat Rob Sand in the general election:

Mary Ann Hanusa of Council Bluffs served in the Iowa House from 2011 to 2021. She’s worked in the White House during President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush’s administrations and managed the Office of Correspondence.

Todd Halburof Clive is the former chief financial officer for the state Alcoholic Beverages Division. He’s a small business owner of a school supply company and a Realtor.

Two other statewide offices will be on the ballot in the fall:

Voter resources

Get ready for upcoming elections by registering to vote and marking your calendar for Election Day.

Primary elections for 2022 will be held from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on June 7, 2022. Iowa has closed primaries, which means that only registered Democrats or Republicans can participate in their party’s primary. Iowans can register with a party or change their party affiliationthrough the Secretary of State’s website.

The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022.

Iowa Capital Dispatch is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Iowa Capital Dispatch maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Kathie Obradovich for questions: Follow Iowa Capital Dispatch on Facebook and Twitter.

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