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United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa, 2006


United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa, 2006

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United States

In Iowa, midterm elections for the state's five Congressional seats took place November 7, 2006. Each race was contested, each pitting the winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries conducted June 6.

The Democratic party gained control of three of the five seats up for grabs. In one of those races, 30-year incumbent Jim Leach, a Republican, was unseated by newcomer Dave Loebsack, a Democrat.[1]

The winners will serve from January 3, 2007 to January 3, 2009.


  • Overview 1
  • District 1 2
  • District 2 3
  • District 3 4
  • District 4 5
  • District 5 6
  • References 7
  • See also 8


United States House of Representatives elections in Iowa, 2006[2]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Republican 522,388 50.57% 2 -2
Democratic 492,937 47.72% 3 +2
Independents 17,656 1.71% 0
Totals 1,032,981 100.00% 5

District 1

Regarded as one of the more hotly contested races in the nation, Republican nominee Mike Whalen of Bettendorf, the operator of the Heart of America Restaurants and Inns (HOARI) chain, took on Democratic candidate Bruce Braley, an attorney from Waterloo. The seat had been vacated when incumbent Jim Nussle announced his run for Iowa governor.

In the Democratic primary, Braley defeated Rick Dickinson, Bill Gluba and Denny Heath. Whalen got the GOP nod over Bill Dix and Brian Kennedy.

Following an election that was peppered with negative attack ads from both sides, Braley defeated Whalen by a solid margin.

Braley's victory meant that, for the first time since 1976, a Democrat will be serving the district.[3]

Iowa's 1st congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bruce Braley 114,322 55.10%
Republican Mike Whalen 89,729 43.25%
Pirate Party James F. Hill 2,201 1.06%
Independent Albert W. Schoeman 1,226 0.59%
Totals 207,478 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

District 2

When the Iowa Secretary of State's office posted its list of primary candidates online in March, there was no Democratic candidate. [1]. However, Dave Loebsack of Mount Vernon, a political science professor at Cornell College, received write-in votes in the June 6 primary to become the Democratic nominee [2]. Incumbent Jim Leach was the sole GOP candidate in the primary.

The campaign eventually heated up,[4] as Loebsack was hoping to ride what he viewed as voter discontent with the Bush administration. Leach supporters continued to point to his strong integrity and status as one of the most liberal Republicans in the House.

On election night, Loebsack stunned many political observers by defeating Leach by a thin margin.[5] Leach's defeat made him the most senior House member to lose re-election in 2006 and the most senior member to lose re-election since 42-year incumbent Jack Brooks lost to Steve Stockman in the 1994 Republican Revolution.

Iowa's 2nd congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Dave Loebsack 107,683 51.43%
Republican Jim Leach (inc.) 101,707 48.57%
Totals 209,390 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican

District 3

Five-term incumbent Leonard Boswell, a Democrat from Des Moines, took on Republican challenger Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, a two-term state senator from the 35th District and the GOP's Senate leader. Both candidates were uncontested in the June 6 primary.

Like in the First Congressional District, the Third District race was characterized by negative attack advertising and attention from national committees seeking to elect their candidate of choice.

Boswell ultimately took advantage of the strong Democratic wave sweeping across the country and defeated Lamberti to win a sixth term.

Iowa's 3rd congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Leonard Boswell (inc.) 115,769 51.90%
Republican Jeff Lamberti 103,722 46.50%
Socialist Workers Helen Meyers 3,591 1.61%
Totals 223,082 100.00%
Democratic hold

District 4

Seven-term Republican incumbent Tom Latham of Alexander faced Democratic nominee Selden Spencer, a neurologist from Huxley. Both candidates were unopposed in the June 6 primary. Although quiet by comparison to other races in Iowa, the Iraqi War was a major point of contention between the candidates.[6]

Though some political analysts expected the race to be a tough one, Latham defeated Spencer by a solid margin to win a seventh term.

Iowa's 4th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Tom Latham (inc.) 121,650 57.21%
Democratic Selden E. Spencer 90,982 42.79%
Totals 212,632 100.00%
Republican hold

District 5

Republican Steve King of Kiron, a two-term incumbent, faced Democratic nominee Joyce Schulte of Creston. Schulte had defeated Robert Chambers in the June 6 primary, while King was unopposed.

In the November 7 election, King defeated Schulte in a small landslide to win another term.

Iowa's 5th congressional district election, 2006
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Steve King (inc.) 105,580 58.53%
Democratic Joyce Schulte 64,181 35.58%
Independent Roy Nielsen 8,159 4.52%
Independent Cheryl L. Brodersen 2,479 1.37%
Totals 180,399 100.00%
Republican hold


  1. ^ McWilliams, Mike (November 8, 2006). "Loebsack ousts Leach: Challenger ousts 30-year incumbent".  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Tibbetts, Ed (2006-11-07). "Braley win caps 2-year quest".  
  4. ^ Jordan, Erin (September 30, 2006). "Loebsack-Leach race warms up".  
  5. ^ McWilliams, Mike (November 8, 2006). "Loebsack ousts Leach: Challenger ousts 30-year incumbent".  
  6. ^ "'"Braley rides party's wave, says Bush was 'major issue.  

See also

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