With the resignation of former Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix on Monday, the voters in his district will now have to decide who will replace him in the long and short term.
As of Monday, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds has five days to call for a special election to fill the vacancy, Iowa Secretary of State spokesman Kevin Hall said. Because the Legislature is currently in session, the election will be scheduled at least 18 days after her announcement, a shorter interval than usual. That timeframe would put the election somewhere in April.
“That’s the governor’s decision,” Hall said.
He added that the major parties will hold nominating conventions to select their candidates for the special election.
Tracy Freese, a Democrat from Dike, had planned to run against Dix, R-Shell Rock, in the November general election and had filed her paperwork to be on the June 5 primary ballot. She said in a news release Monday that she intends to take a shot at the seat in the special election, too.
“My platform has always been about putting people first instead of profits. I look forward to using my leadership to help my community,” she said in the release.
Depending on when the election is set and how fast the Legislature works, the winner of the special election could be seated in the Senate before the current session adjourns. April 17, the 100th day of the session, is considered the benchmark for roughly when the session ends as its when the per diem lawmakers receive also ends.
But even before the special election, the Republicans have to find someone to put on the June 5 primary ballot in District 25 before Friday at 5 p.m. Before he resigned, Dix had yet submit his paperwork to file for re-election.
If there’s a candidate, they’ll have to gather 100 signatures from the district in four days.
Brett Barker, the chairman of the Story County GOP, said Monday afternoon that he didn’t know of anyone “at this time” who’d try to get on the primary ballot. The winner of the primary election will compete for a four-year term in the Senate on Nov. 6 in the General Election.
Dix resigned Monday afternoon after Iowa Starting Line, a left-leaning political blog, posted a video that showed him kissing someone the website identified as a lobbyist at a Des Moines bar. He was first elected to the Senate in 2010 after serving five terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. He was re-elected in 2014.
Senate District 25 covers the majority of Story County, including its eastern half and parts of the north and south. It covers the cities of Story City, Roland, Huxley, Cambridge, Maxwell, Collins, Colo, Nevada, Zearing and McCallsburg.