IPR: The Low Profile Battle for State Senate Majority

Most of the attention during this mid-term election season in Iowa has been on the races for U.S. Senate and Governor. However, further down the ballot, Iowa voters will determine who controls the Iowa Senate…

One of the seats Democrats are defending is an open one long held by retiring Senator Dennis Black. The district includes Newton and Altoona. Republicans are hoping to pick up the seat that leans Democratic with Crystal Bruntz. On a recent Tuesday morning, Bruntz talks to a couple dozen activists at the Republican Party of Iowa headquarters.

“I grew up in Iowa, up by Ames,” Bruntz introduces herself to the audience much like she does while knocking doors. “I have an accounting degree from Central. Right out of college, I went to work for Maytag for about 6 years in internal audit as well as tax.” …

A unified party is certainly the message Jeff Kaufmann pushes. He’s the Iowa Republican party chairman who started in June with a zero balance in the party’s checking account. Kaufmann said the party’s raised $400,000 since he took over. He claims 2014 will be the most active Iowa Republicans have been in a midterm election. He said races for the state senate are grassroots politics at its best because candidates can knock every door in their districts.

“Once you move to that next level, to Congress or to the statewide officials like the Governor, you can’t do that,” Jeff Kaufmann said. “It’s a job that certainly that rises above the level of local position. Certainly the amount of dollars you’re looking at and the stakes are high, but yet you can still see your senator on a weekly basis.”

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