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Government Affairs

2018 Election Results Memo


After an extraordinary and hard-fought campaign, Republicans maintain control of the Iowa statehouse and Iowa Democrats made gains in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gov. Reynolds came from behind to defeat Fred Hubbell 50% - 47% and win the Governor’s office.  The House Republican majority shrank from 59-41 to 54-46, and the Senate Republican majority grew from 29-20-1 to 32-18.  

The Republicans maintained their House majority with solid wins by incumbents that were seriously challenged, holding onto one seat in Northeast Iowa and potentially picking up two seats previously held by the Democrats:

  • Rep. Shannon Lundgren won in Dubuque County
  • Rep. Gary Carlson maintained his seat in Muscatine County
  • Rep. Louie Zumbach prevailed in Linn County 
  • Rep. Michael Bergan is leading by 8 votes in the Decorah area
  •  Jeff Shipley is leading Democratic Rep. Phil Miller by 43 votes in the Fairfield area
  • Ann Meyer won the previously held Democratic seat in Fort Dodge

In central Iowa, the Democrats running in the Iowa House had an impressive performance in the suburbs around Des Moines.  

  • Kristin Sunde defeated Rep. Peter Cownie in West Des Moines 
  • Heather Matson defeated Rep. Kevin Koester in Ankeny
  • Karin Derry upended Rep. Jake Highfill in Johnston
  • Jennifer Konfrst defeated Michael Boal in Windsor Heights
  • Kenan Judge defeated Anna Bergman in Waukee

A noteworthy race in the Iowa Senate was the strong challenge to Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver by Amber Gustafson in Ankeny. Leader Whitver prevailed in a hard-fought contest.

In the races for Congress, State Rep. Abby Finkenauer defeated Con. Rod Blum in the First District in Northeast Iowa (Cedar Rapids, Waterloo/Cedar Falls, Dubuque) and Cindy Axne prevailed over Congressman David Young in the Third District that runs from Des Moines to Council Bluffs and to the Southwest corner of the state. 

The Democrats flipped two Republican seats in Congress contributing to the Democrats taking control of the U.S. House.