Cedar Falls House district part of statehouse control fight - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls House district part of statehouse control fight

Rep. Bob Kressig Rep. Bob Kressig
Jim Kenyon Jim Kenyon

While many eyes are on the presidential election, the balance of power in the state legislature is also up for grabs.

In House District 59, incumbent Democrat Bob Kressig faces Republican Challenger Jim Kenyon in a hotly contested race.  This race, along with a handful of others, could determine which political parties ultimately have control of the statehouse and the legislative agenda going forward.

It's the home stretch before election day.  Democratic Representative Bob Kressig is making his final appeal to voters to keep his legislative seat.

"Education funding is key, good paying jobs, you know the balanced budget we have in the state.  All those things I can continue to work on and provide input and votes to make those things important," said Kressig.

But Jim Kenyon says he'd do a better job and wants a shot at working in Des Moines.

"I enjoy being a contributing member of our community.  I never have been able to go out of town, particularly, because I have a business.  But I'm getting to the position in my business where I'm able to do that and serve in this capacity," said Kenyon.    

In recent weeks, Kressig and Kenyon have been sparring through a wave of negative ads focused on spending.  Both say good jobs for Iowans are important, but see different ways of making that happen.

"We should invest in things like UNI, K-12 education, community colleges--an area that creates a skilled workforce. Without a skilled workforce, Iowans won't be successful in the future," Kressig said.

"We sure would like to think we can enhance business by attracting more business.  I think we do that not only by tax incentives to come here, but inducements to come here because of reducing some of the regulations," Kenyon said.

Like all legislative races this year, this match-up is significant since it could be part of what tips the balance of power at the capital.  Republicans currently hold a narrow majority in the Iowa House, while Democrats have an even slimmer majority in the Senate.  Depending on the outcome of races like this, the scales could be tipped, determining the legislative agenda next year.

"We've seen a lot of backlash from Democrats on issues like gay marriage or a lot of contention going back and forth on tax cuts, particularly commercial property tax cuts.  So if Republicans would take control of the Iowa Senate and maintain control of the Iowa House, and you have a Republican governor, they'd be able to push through all that legislation really without any road blocks," said Chris Larimer, KWWL political analyst.

While there's already a lot of early voting happening, both candidates in the 59th district agree that their biggest mission right now is ensuring everyone gets out to the polls, to have their voices heard on election day.

The polls will be open from 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday.  

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