By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
Democrat Rita Hart defeated Republican Andrew Naeve to be the first State Senator to occupy the District 49 seat.
Hart, 56, received 17,290 votes in Clinton and Scott counties, which accounts for 55 percent of the vote in the newly created district.
Naeve, the 28-year-old agribusinessman, received 14,383 or 45 percent of the vote in the district, which includes Clinton County and a portion of northeast Scott County.
Hart, a family farmer and former tea-cher from south of Whe-atland, said she was humbled by the experience running for elected office for the first time.
“I learned so much going through this process,” she said. “It helped me to understand the problems that people face everyday.”
This was N-aeve’s second bid for office. He ran for State Senate against Dem-ocrat Tod Bowman in 2010 and lost by 71 votes.
Naeve said he’s not ruling out any future runs for office, but in the foreseeable future he plans to stay involved in the community and spend time with his wife, Kristin. He said he has no regrets about the race.
“We did everything 100 percent. We didn’t leave anything on the table. It didn’t work out. It wasn’t meant to be,” Naeve said.
Both candidates garnered attention from the state’s Republican and Democratic parties during the race, leading to increased cash flow and an onslaught of advertising.
Naeve and Hart both said they were happy with how the race was run and were appreciative of their respective campaign committees as well as the people who voted for them.
As she assumes her role as State Senator, Hart’s top three issues are the economy and workforce development, health care affordability and accessibility and providing children with a world-class education.
“I will look forward to being their (the people’s) voice in Des Moines,” Hart said.