Latham versus Boswell in third district


November 5th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The race in Iowa’s third congressional district is one of just two in the country that feature two incumbents battling to return for another term in the U.S. House. Republican Tom Latham was first elected to congress in 1994. Democrat Leonard Boswell first won his seat in congress back in 1996. Iowa has had five congressmen for the past decade, but after the 2010 Census, the district lines were redrawn — and divided into just four districts. “Losing a congressional district sort of really re-rolled the dice,” says Creighton university political science professor Richard Witmer. The two congressmen are running to represent Iowa’s new third district. It covers 16 southwest Iowa counties and includes the cities of Des Moines and Council Bluffs.

Witmer says both men have had to use some of their campaign cash to build up their name I.D. in the district. “Sort of stating that opening case and introducing themselves to new voters, which is not something you would expect an incumbent to do,” Witmer says. The battle between these two congressmen has been characterized by attack ads as well as some intense verbal jousting during their six debates. Republicans hold a voter registration edge in the district of about nine-thousand. There are more than 150-thousand independent or “no party” voters in the third district compared to nearly 158-thousand Democrats and about 167-thousand Republicans.

(O.Kay Henderson/Radio Iowa)