Iowa Republicans flipped a seat in the state House held by Democrats for years. democrats vs republicans fitimi/Getty Images/iStockphoto

GOP candidate flips Iowa House seat in ‘area Democrats held for 46 years’

Elizabeth Faddis October 13, 04:56 PM October 13, 04:56 PM

Iowa Republicans flipped a seat in the state House held by Democrats for years.

GOP candidate Jon Dunwell defeated his Democratic opponent Steve Mullan in Tuesday’s special election. Dunwell was ahead with nearly 60% of the vote, a 930-vote difference, according to unofficial results posted by the Jasper County Elections Office.

“Republicans have just officially FLIPPED a Iowa House District in an area Democrats held for 46 years!” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a congratulatory tweet on Tuesday.

The victory gives Republicans a 60-40 majority in the Iowa House, the Des Moines Register reported. The district has a population of roughly 33,000 people, according to Ballotpedia.

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Sept. 14 that a special election would be held for District 29 in the Iowa House of Representatives following the resignation of Democratic Rep. Wes Breckenridge.


Dunwell — a 55-year-old former pastor and financial services representative from Orlando, Florida — announced he would run as a candidate in a Facebook post on Sept. 15.

“Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse,” Dunwell said in a statement after being projected the winner. Dunwell also said he was honored to hear from people on the campaign trail who both agreed and disagreed with him, adding he has “learned so much.”


Dunwell previously ran in 2020 against Breckenridge and lost.

Mullen is an 82-year-old retired teacher who serves on the Newton City Council, according to the Associated Press.

“I’d like to thank my supporters, volunteers, donors, and all those who participated in this special election,” he said in a Facebook post. “We knocked doors, made phone calls, and met with the citizens of Jasper County to bring our issues to the center of this race. This race was a true community effort and I’m honored to have received all of your support and energy.”

“We championed issues that matter to voters like public education, health care and rural broadband access,” Mullan added. “Our advocacy on these issues will not stop with this campaign. I’m proud to have run a strong campaign that held true to our values. I wish my opponent the best and hope he’ll represent our district well in the statehouse.”

After five years in office, Breckenridge announced his resignation with a Newton Daily News op-ed, saying he accepted an offer to be assistant director with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Previously, Breckenridge served as a lieutenant with the Newton Police Department from 1992 until 2017, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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