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Republicans won a special election Tuesday in the Iowa House and claimed a seat that had been held by a Democrat in the state for decades.

John Dunwell, 55, a pastor and financial services representative, changed Iowa House District 29 from blue to red after winning nearly 60% of the vote, Des Moines Register informed of. The paper said the victory, which is the second special election victory for Republicans in recent weeks, gives the party a 60-40-majority in the state House.


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“The Iovans are sending a clear message – they completely reject the policies and agenda of the Iowa Democrats,” Jeff Kaufman, the head of the state’s Republican Party, said in a statement. He said it was his hope the state’s GOP would help “end the chaos coming out of Washington, DC.”

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The seat fell vacant when Democratic incumbent Wes Breckenridge, who defeated Dunwell in 2020, resigned after accepting a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Dunwell defeated Democrat Steve Mullan, an 82-year-old retired teacher serving on Newton City Council.

The Iowa Secretary of State still has to certify the vote.

The victory caught the attention of Republican National Committee chief Ronna McDaniel, who tweeted Tuesday that Democrats in the state have held the seat for 46 years.

“This is further confirmation that Iovans is rejecting liberal policies coming from DC and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa,” House Speaker Pat Grassley said in a statement obtained by The Register.

Dunwell did not immediately respond to an email from Granthshala News.

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Former President Trump leads Iowa in 2020 with 53.2% of the vote. President Biden received 45% of the vote.