What Do West Des Moines, Waukee Patch Readers Say About Contentious Senate District 22 Race?
Patch readers weigh in on Michele Bachmann’s endorsement, dueling abortion ads and which candidate best represents Iowans’ values.
A highly contentious Senate District 22 race – which pits a pastor against a veteran politician in a new district with evangelical leanings – is being closely watched by Patch readers.
Sen. Pat Ward, who was thrown into the same district as a popular Democrat, Sen. Matt McCoy, in redistricting, moved to the new district and is locked in a primary battle with Jeff Mullen, pastor of the Point of Grace Church in Waukee. Voters in West Des Moines, Waukee and Clive will decide June 5 which candidate will face Democrat Desmund Adams in November.
Ward of West Des Moines is a moderate who has championed adding sexual orientation to the Iowa Civil Rights Act, and Mullen once preached that homosexuality is “immoral and unnatural.”
Mullen founded the Iowa Pastors Network, an advocacy group that encourages pastors to talk with their congregations about what he thinks is a Biblical mandate for involvement in local and national elections. Last year, Mullen was one of 100 Iowa pastors endorsing Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s failed presidential campaign.
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Last week, he won Bachmann’s endorsement.
Said David Leonard, a former high school guidance counselor living in Waukee: “Her endorsement probably carries as much weight as a hot air balloon and she could easily fill one.”
Readers also weighed in on Mullen’s radio ad that Ward said distorted her position on taxpayer-funded abortions for women on Medicare, and she aired her own ad shaming Mullen both as candidate and a pastor.
On the abortion issue, Patch reader Susan L. McAtee noted that to deny abortions to women on Medicaid who are the victims of rape or incest “would be cruel punishment for someone who was treated badly to start with.”
“A woman should be able to make decisions regarding her own health regardless,” McAtee said.
Commented Leonard: “To deny them access to abortions in these cases would be cruel punishment for tragic situations they had no control over. The denial would also result in hundreds of unwanted children, many of which would undoubtedly grow up poor and possibly abused."
Take Our Informal Poll, Tell Us Who's Your Candidate and Why
A 54 percent majority of readers participating in Patch’s unscientific poll said they would vote for Ward if the election were today. Seventeen percent said they would vote for Mullen and 16 percent supported Democrat Adams.
Said reader Dallas Gilreath: “I'm still hoping for a representative who cares about people more than greed.”
“I'm voting and working for Desmund Adams because moderation needs a voice,” said Michael Libbie. “For all the people, not just a few.”