Leave no Republican unchallenged
by desmoinesdem, Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 01:51:38 PM EDT
It's hard to find good people to run against long-serving incumbents in seemingly hopeless districts, but it's important for the Democratic Party to recruit credible candidates everywhere. You never know when a safe Republican incumbent will self-destruct:
Sen. James Seymour, a Republican from Woodbine, was charged at 2 p.m. on March 13, 2002, after he called a female prostitute decoy who was working with Des Moines police.
He arranged to meet her on the east side for oral sex and intercourse and handed over $90, according to a police report.
Earlier the same day, Seymour had filed papers to run for the Senate. He was elected eight months later.
No one knew about the incident except the authorities, his wife and his pastor until now, Seymour said Friday.
Seymour, 69, said in an interview Friday that the prostitution incident was a case of poor judgment. He said he does not intend to resign.
Voters in Senate District 28 have no recourse other than penciling in a write-in candidate's name on their ballots, according to state election officials. Deadlines to add or withdraw a candidate's name from the ballot have passed.
Fortunately, Democrats have a majority in the Iowa Senate and may well expand that majority, because the Iowa Republican Party is focusing its resources on the Iowa House, where Democrats have a narrower advantage.
Still, the fiasco in Iowa Senate district 28 should be a wake-up call to state parties everywhere. No more Republican incumbents should be left unchallenged. It wouldn't hurt to check court documents to see if any Republican candidates' names turn up either. It's ridiculous that no one uncovered this criminal case six years ago.
By the way, later in the Des Moines Register article I linked at the top, several Republicans make excuses for Seymour, saying he's been a good senator even if he made mistakes before being elected. You can always count on this kind of double-standard from otherwise moralizing Republican politicians.