Black Hawk Co. state Senate race could tip power in Des Moines - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk Co. state Senate race could tip power in Des Moines

Jeff Danielson Jeff Danielson
Matt Reisetter Matt Reisetter

Campaign season is alive and well with not just the presidential race in play in Iowa, but many state races as well.  And a few contests have the potential to tip the balance of power in Des Moines.

We take a look at the two men vying for Senate District 30 in Black Hawk County.

The sounds of the campaign season, from door knocking to hammering in yard signs, are becoming familiar in Cedar Falls.  The city is part of a battleground Senate race between incumbent Democrat Jeff Danielson, and Republican challenger Matt Reisetter.

Danielson's working hard to retain his seat, after winning his last re-election by only 22 votes.

"This district has always been very competitive.  There's nothing new there.  You've got to get out, meet people, listen to them, come up with ideas that actually try to solve our challenges," said Senator Danielson.

Challenger Matt Reisetter is a familiar face, having previously run against Representative Bob Kressig for the state House, and losing that race by fewer than 100 votes.  He's determined to finish this election on top.

"Door knocking is the bread and butter of our campaign.  We've been out since May and have hit over 10,000 doors.  Really that's where you get to hear what's on people's minds, see them where they live.  To be a good senator, a good representative of the people, we've got to be where they're at, getting an idea on how they think," said Reisetter.

Both candidates say they'd work with the other party to achieve good things for the state, but have differing views on what should be key legislative goals.

"Education funding in particular, especially when we have a balanced budget with a surplus, a lot of Iowans want that invested back in their schools.  And for us at UNI, it's incredibly important, not just so we can get students those opportunities, which is very important, but for our area, it will affect our economy," Danielson said.

"If we don't reign in the size and scope of government, to a responsible degree it's going to be a difficult situation for future generations.  They're not going to have the opportunities and freedoms we've had.  So we're just honored to play a part in trying to turn this around," said Reisetter.

Of course voters will decide which of these men takes their agenda to Des Moines, and whoever wins could tip statehouse control.  That's because Democrats now hold a narrow majority in the Senate, while Republicans control the Iowa House and Governor's office.

So if Danielson is re-elected, it might ensure Democrats keep senate control, but if Reisetter comes out on top, there's a good chance that power goes to the GOP.

Experts also think Senate District 26 will be a race to watch in eastern Iowa.  It's the only one where two incumbents, put into the same area because of re-districting, will face off against each other.  Mary Jo Wilhelm and Merlin Bartz are competing in that race.


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