Shull wins Iowa Senate race

by Mindy Marks

Simpson adjunct professor Doug Shull was elected to the Iowa Senate after last Tuesday’s election.

Three other candidates with a Simpson connection ran but did not win.

Shull was elected to the Iowa Senate for district 37. The race became a lot closer when Shull lost the town of Carlisle. Shull and his campaign team watched the election results come in at his brother’s accounting firm in Indianola.

Shull was not the only winner in his campaign. Simpson students worked for Shull during his campaign.

“Working on the campaign taught me more about politics on a personal level,” said senior Michelle Mapel. “We saw Doug working with people on all levels and he taught me what it is to be a trustworthy politician.”

Junior Andy Baker began election night at the Indianola Auditors Office to report votes and later went to Democratic headquarters in Des Moines. Baker had been working on John Norris’ campaign for about a year and a half.

Norris, a Simpson alumnus ran for the Iowa House district 4 but lost to Republican incumbent Tom Latham. While Norris’ defeat was discouraging, he took life long lessons away from his campaign experience.

“That night Vilsack said, ‘even if it’s not what you want, know you worked for the best person and did everything you could,'” said Baker.

Baker acknowledged that it is a hard district to win for someone who is a liberal democrat.

“It’s disappointing, but you have to stay positive and discover what the future holds and fight for the values you ran the campaign on,” said Baker.

Junior Brian DePew was defeated by Patty Judge for Secretary of Agriculture, but he still had victories for the Green Party.

“We whittled Patty down,” said DePew. “As a democratic incumbent she didn’t have a mandate so she’ll hopefully be forced to respond to the issues raised.”

Green Party candidates are often seen as negative forces on democratic campaigns because they take some of the more liberal votes. DePew wanted to be the spoiler in order to raise concerns close to Iowa farmers. Judge outspent John Askew four to one and won with a small margin.

DePew was the youngest member of the Green Party to receive such a high percent of the vote.

“Iowa politics probably hasn’t seen the last of me,” said DePew.

Jay Robinson, former assistant librarian at Simpson and Green Party candidate for governor of Iowa was close to receiving the 2 percent needed to maintain official party status.

Tom Vilsack beat out Robinson, Doug Gross and Clyde Cleveland for governor.

Robinson was able to raise awareness on issues from education to energy. By bringing these issues up, the other candidates were forced to address the issues throughout the campaign. He does not plan to give up on a political future.

“I will be doing preaching and religious education around issues of community agriculture, as I did before the election. And I will be exploring my options for the future,” said Robinson.

The Green Party, as a whole, has seen a rise in political support. This election was the first where a Green Party candidate was elected to the legislature.

“The national party has grown 27 percent since 2000, and our state party has tripled in size since I announced my candidacy in February,” said Robinson. “We are the only growing political party in the U.S.”