After the primaries

Congratulations go to Tom Huseman, the Republican nominee for Buena Vista County Supervisor who seeks to fill the seat left with the retirement of Supervisor Ken Hach, R-Alta. Huseman, who recently retired as Alta city clerk, beat opponents Phil Driver and Stevan Quirk handily in the Tuesday GOP primary by garnering 58% of the vote. He was the best known of the candidates around the county, promoted his campaign the most and had the most experience with local government by virtue of his decades in public service.

No Democrat has come forward to run. The Democrats could hold a special nominating convention to nominate a candidate to oppose Huseman on the November ballot. The chances of that are slim to none.

It would appear, then, that Huseman is the supervisor-elect.

He told us at the start of the campaign that he hoped to be a supervisor who would look out for the interests of Storm Lake and, of course, Alta. He pledged to be accessible and to listen. As such, he garnered much support.

Joni Ernst, best known for castrating pigs and shooting guns, easily won the Republican nomination for US Senate although she was outspent by opponent Mark Jacobs. We shudder to think a person so crass and so disingenuous could be taken seriously by voters. Disingenuous in that Ernst claimed she was on Iowa National Guard duty while missing a hundred or so votes in the Iowa Senate; turns out, she was not on Guard duty during her legislative absence but was campaigning or raising money for her campaign. She has a problem with the truth, which is a far bigger issue than running on her qualifications to emasculate a boar.

“An examination of Ernst’s senate record shows that she has never offered an amendment that would cut spending in her time in the Iowa Senate.  Perhaps that’s why Ernst uses her experience on the farm castrating pigs to tout her pork cutting in her campaign ad and not her record in the Iowa Senate.  In fact, instead of cutting pork in the Iowa Senate, Ernst has a record of sponsoring amendments that actually increase spending,” The Iowa Republican website opined on May 15.

Ernst is pitted against US Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Waterloo, who needs to step up his game if he intends to carry on for the retiring Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who has been a champion for progressive causes. Braley needs to get west of Interstate 35 and take on Ernst in her own territory if he wants to open a lead over her. She proved she can beat money with organization and shoe leather by thumbing Jacobs. She brought in Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio, among others, to seal the victory. Money will be showered on her. Braley should have President Obama, Vice President Biden, Harkin — especially Harkin, the only state politician with the electoral acumen of Terry Branstad — and every other prominent Democrat he can think of patrolling every corner of the state in search of every vote. This is one of the nationally targeted races, and it will be tight. Braley has visited Storm Lake once, in our memory. That’s not good enough to beat Ernst. Already she will have more name recognition in Sioux City and Fort Dodge than Braley will. He has a lot of work to do. So much that he should worry.

If the Democrats had their wits about them, they would mount an all-out effort to evict Steve King from Congress. No amount of money should be too much. There cannot be enough print, radio and TV ads to urge voters to support a reasonable man, Democrat Jim Mowrer of Boone, in his quixotic bid to unseat the five-term radical right-winger who makes Ted Cruz look like a softie. The party needs to mount an unprecedented effort to organize Latino voters in Storm Lake, Denison, Sioux City and Fort Dodge to offset a large Republican voter majority in the Fourth Congressional District and show King the power of the people he dismisses as so much chattel.

Mowrer has done extremely well in fundraising. He should have proven by now to the congressional overseers that he is a viable candidate against King. We have yet to hear that Organizing for America, Barack Obama’s volunteer juggernaut, has set up shop in the Fourth District to see this thing through.

We simply cannot have a congressman with such contempt for Latinos and other immigrants whose only dream is for a better life.

Obama has fairly come under criticism by immigration advocates for deporting a record number of undocumented aliens. He could make up for it by eliminating the main impediment to common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform: Steve King.

Jim Mowrer is an Iraq war veteran and a former analyst in the Pentagon. He is a soft-spoken gentleman, and we certainly have not heard enough from him. Mowrer has a huge mountain to climb in unseating an incumbent with a committed national audience. He will need all the help he can get. For now, we’re just not seeing it materialize. Shame on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee if they lose this one again.