2022 Primary Update

June 9, 2022

Iowa’s primary election occurred on June 7th and seemed to garner additional attention compared to previous years. Redistricting and policy issues like school choice and abortion increased the attention on these races and increase voter turnout. The Iowa Secretary of State announced through social media that this was the 2nd highest voter turnout in a primary since 1994 and the 2nd highest absentee turnout in an Iowa primary election.

At the statewide level, incumbents Governor Kim Reynolds, Secretary of State Paul Pate, Auditor of State Rob Sand, State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig and Attorney General Tom Miller all secured their respective party’s nominations to appear on the ballot in the upcoming General Election November 8, 2022. None of them faced individual primary challenges. Their opponents also secured their places on the ballot.

The Iowa House saw the most change with a significant amount of endorsements and spending on a variety of races that included 6 incumbents in the majority with three races between two incumbent Republican legislators. There was a substantial amount of independent expenditures on behalf of or against these incumbents from groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Family Leader, the Iowa Association for Justice, the American Federation for Children Action Fund Inc, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund and others with their expenditures focused primarily on school choice, abortion and tort reform. Overall six incumbent majority members lost on June 7th with the loss of two committee chairs and two assistant leaders.

The Senate will also see significant changes with new faces in new districts, legislators moving across the rotunda from the House and shifts of incumbents within districts. Representatives Westrich (R), Bousselot (R), Salmon (R), Donahue (D), Bennett (D) and Winckler (D) all won primaries to be their party’s nominee this November. Representative Charlie McClintock also attempted to make a similar switch to the Senate but came up two votes short, which will likely get additional scrutiny.

Senator Charles Grassley handily won his primary against State Senator James Carlin to appear in the general election in the seat he has held since 1981. His Democratic opponent will be retired Navy admiral Mike Franken who won his race over former US congresswoman Abby Finkenauer and physician Glenn Hurst with 55% of the vote. 

The incumbents in all four United States congressional races won their primaries without being challenged. In District 3, former state senator Zach Nunn won the primary over Nicole Hasso and Gary Leffler securing over 72% of the vote. 

Take a look at the Iowa Secretary of State’s election results site at https://electionresults.iowa.gov/IA/112996/web.285569/#/summary for more information on Tuesday’s primary.