The next state legislative election on the list is the 2021 Iowa Senate 41st District special election.
By the time it happens on January 26, 2021, it will be the fifth state special election of the year, and the first in the State of Iowa. Elections will have taken place in Virginia, Alabama, and Texas so far. This will be the second state legislative special election to take place since the inauguration of Joe Biden to the presidency. Presidential politics do not always filter down to the local level, but you never know what motivates the average voter in 2021.
Here’s where you can find out who’s running in Iowa’s 41st Senate District and our current take on the state of the race.
41st District Special Election 2021: Key Facts
PREVIOUSLY HELD BY: Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R), who won a razor-thin race for Congress in November 2020 in Iowa’s 2nd District. Miller-Meeks resigned at the start of 2021 to take her seat in the US House, and Iowa is moving quickly to elect her replacement.
LOCATION: The 41st District is located along the state’s southern border with Missouri, in the southeastern portion of Iowa. Its main population center is Ottumwa, but it also includes such towns and cities as Fairfield, Milton, and Bloomfield.
POLITICAL COMPOSITION: Iowa went comfortably for Donald Trump twice, and the 41st Senate District wasn’t immune to those waves. Trump carried every county forming a part of this district. The thing is, with four-year terms in the State Senate, those elections come on midterm years, so Miller-Meeks did not run alongside Trump as a state senator. In 2018, a very Democratic year, Miller-Meeks held the seat for the GOP by a 52-48 margin. Here’s the thing, though: the prior incumbent, Mark Chelgren, only won here by a 51-49 margin in 2014, a very Republican year.
WHO’S RUNNING: Adrian Dickey (R-Packwood) and Mary Stewart (D-Ottumwa). Dickey is a local businessman, owner of trucking company Dickey Transport. Stewart was the Democratic nominee against Miller-Meeks in 2018 who lost a close race, and she has served as chair of the Iowa Democrats’ 2nd District committee.
Makeup of the Iowa State Senate
For a state that has been of the swing variety in the last few decades, mirroring two big Republican wins at the presidential level, the Senate has swung to the GOP in recent years. Democrats had the majority while Barack Obama was in the midst of his second term, but it swung to the GOP during the Trump years, and when Miller-Meeks left, the Republicans held a 32-18 majority. The outcome of the 41st District race will not have an impact on the partisan leadership of the Senate.
In fact, the GOP has a trifecta in Iowa with the governorship, Senate, and House, which they have had for the last several years.
Iowa Senate 41st District Special Election 2021: Evaluation
We expect a close race, but if we had to pick (and on this website, we do), we would say it leans Republican. The GOP has eked out wins here in some good and not-so-good electoral climates. Mary Stewart is a reasonably good candidate for the Democrats, which is why one cannot discount the possibility of her winning. However, the lean of the district is Republican-ish. If the cross-section of voters that shows up for this January special election reflects the district as a whole, Dickey should win.
Iowa Senate 41st District Special Election 2021 Results
Based on unofficial election night results, Adrian Dickey (R) has won the special election. This is a larger than expected margin for Dickey, who outpaced Miller-Meeks in every county. His crushing electoral blow was in flipping Wapello County, home to Ottumwa, which Stewart carried in 2018.