The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 7, 2012

Dems pick up area national seats

Associated Press

Loebsack wins term in newly drawn district

DAVENPORT — Democrat Rep. Dave Loebsack has been elected to a fourth term representing southeastern Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, beating Republican Bettendorf lawyer John Archer.

In his campaign, Loebsack stressed the need to create jobs and build a stronger economy.

Archer also focused on the economy, arguing that Loebsack and other Democrats were to blame for the nation’s slow growth.

In winning another term, Loebsack overcame changes to his district due to the once-a-decade process of redrawing lines based on census results. Redistricting removed Cedar Rapids from the district, but added Davenport.

Bustos says she’s honored to defeat Schilling

CHICAGO — Democrat Cheri Bustos says her election to office shows that voters understood her message.

She defeated first-term Illinois Republican Congressman Bobby Schilling on Tuesday. Bustos tells The Associated Press that her campaign has been about middle class families and she’s honored to go to Congress.

The race was one of the most closely watched in Illinois as Democrats had identified it as an opportunity to pick up a seat in their fight to regain control of the House. Republicans also poured in big money to defend it.

The newly drawn 17th Congressional District sprawls from the Iowa state line to include parts of western and central Illinois.

Bustos is a former city council member. She received an early endorsement from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin.

Voters retain justice

DES MOINES — Iowans voted to retain state Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins on Tuesday, a defeat for conservatives who sought to remove him for joining the landmark decision that legalized gay marriage in 2009.

Liberal groups, gay rights activists and trial lawyers hailed the vote as an affirmation of the Iowa Supreme Court’s long history of supporting equal rights and judicial independence. They said the vote reflected changing attitudes in which more people support same-sex marriage and a bigger push by the state’s legal establishment, the Iowa State Bar Association, to educate voters about the significance of retaining Wiggins.

“This is a great day for rule of law in Iowa and Iowa voters have wisely rejected politics and intimidation in our court system,” said Guy Cook, president-elect of the bar association. “Justice Wiggins is an intelligent, hard-working and fair man. It’s good to know that he hasn’t been fired for simply doing his job.”

With 88 percent of Iowa precincts reporting, more than 54 percent of voters said Wiggins should remain on the bench. Wiggins, 63, needed only a simple majority to win another eight-year term.

The Family Leader, the social conservative group that led the anti-Wiggins campaign, conceded defeat late Tuesday. Spokeswoman Julie Summa noted the race was close and many Iowa residents signaled they remained opposed to the ruling.

“That’s quite a few Iowans that believe Justice Wiggins stepped outside his bounds,” she said. “This time around, we were competing with the presidential election, all of the other congressional races, there was a lot of noise out there that competed with our message. And the other side was more organized this time than last time around. We knew it would be an uphill battle.”

With the victory, Wiggins avoids the fate of three of his colleagues who joined the unanimous ruling and were voted off the bench when they faced voters in 2010.