Republicans flipped a longtime Democrat stronghold when Jon Dunwell won a special election, becoming the first Republican to represent Newton in the Iowa state House in decades.
Dunwell defeated Democrat Steve Mullen by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin.
— Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate (@IowaSOS) October 13, 2021
The Hill reports:
Dunwell is the second Republican to win a formerly Democratic-held legislative seat since President Biden took office, after a Republican won a state Senate seat in Connecticut over the summer.
“Community engagement is very important to me. Being out and among the people is very important to me. Giving everyone a seat at the table is very important to me,” Dunwell told the Newton Daily News as he watched the results roll in. “I have a conservative philosophy. My passion is for Jasper County and Iowa. The team that I work with is for the Republicans.”
Dunwell had lost a bid against state Rep. Wes Breckenridge (D) in 2020. But Breckenridge quit the legislature last month to take a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
The longtime Democrat stronghold has been shifting to the right in recent years with Donald Trump winning nearly 60% of the vote during the 2020 election.