The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

November 6, 2012

Iowa voters go for incumbents in 4 US House races

DES MOINES — Iowa voters decided to retain four incumbent Congressmen on Tuesday after competitive races in all four newly drawn districts.

Former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack fell short in a bid to become the state's first female U.S. House member. Vilsack moved to Ames to try to unseat outspoken Republican Rep. Steve King in the reconfigured 4th District, but King successfully defended his seat and will serve a sixth term in Congress.

Nine-term Republican Rep. Tom Latham also relocated, settling in the Des Moines suburb of Clive to run against eight-term Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell — a bitter race that ended with Latham on top.

Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack moved 20 miles south to Iowa City to run in a new district that includes Davenport, and he defeated Republican John Archer. Loebsack said it's time for Congress to put politics aside and get serious about the nation's business.

"Now it's a matter of getting back to work, heading back to Washington, D.C. and doing everything we can to make sure we get the country back on a sound economic footing and get people back to work," Loebsack said.

And Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo fought off Republican Ben Lange, the same small-town lawyer who nearly defeated him in 2010.

"I'm looking forward to spending the next two years doing what I've done the last six, which is working to build relationships with people on both sides of the aisle to get things done," Braley said.

While Republicans seemed poised to retain their House majority, Iowa's races were seen as a bellwether for Democratic gains or losses.

The 4th District race in mostly rural northwestern Iowa looked to be one of the tightest races this year, pitting Vilsack, wife of U.S. Agriculture Secretary and former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack, against the outspoken King.

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