Ward Pushes Back Challenge From Evangelical Pastor Jeff Mullen in Senate District 22
Unofficial election results give edge to incumbent in contentious Senate primary.
Sen. Pat Ward appears to have won the right to campaign for re-election in a new Iowa Senate district, winning a contentious primary against evangelical pastor Jeff Mullen, 1,732 votes to 1,350 votes, according to unofficial election results from Dallas and Polk County.
Absentee ballots in Dallas County haven't yet been counted, but Ward told Patch she's confident she has prevailed.
"I'm very humbled by the amount of support I've had," said Ward, who moved to District 22 after redistricting put her in a district represented by a popular Democratic senator, Matt McCoy.
"I clearly wasn't as well known in this district, so it was my job to get out there and talk to people," Ward said. "It's very encouraging. People are intelligent, well-informed and they do their homework. They liked what they saw in me and they demonstrated it in the polls.
"I believe I am the right senator for this district," she said.
Ward easily won in Polk County with 62 percent of the votes. In Dallas County, where Mullen is pastor of Waukee's Point of Grace Church, he trailed Ward, but not by as close a margin. There, he came within 50 votes of winning.
Ward will face Democrat Desmund Adams in the November general election.
Check back with Patch tonight and Wednesday morning for updates.