Republican Jon Dunwell flips Iowa House seat held by Democrats for Decades

By Dave Andrusko

Jon Dunwell

For the second time in a little over a month, Republicans won a competitive race when GOPer Jon Dunwell defeated Democrat Steve Mullan in a special election. The last time Republicans held the seat was 1992. 

According to the Jasper County Auditor’s Office, Dunwell led Mullan Tuesday night winning  2,820 (59.81 percent) to 1,890 (40.08 percent), a difference of 930 votes.

Tuesday’s result were nearly completely flipped from 2018 with Democrat Breckenridge secured 58.7% of the vote to the Republican candidate’s 41.2%.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called the special election when then-Rep. Wes Breckenridge stepped down after taking a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. 

Dunwell’s victory increases the Republican advantage in the House to 60-40. 

Top party officials quickly congratulated Dunwell, a pastor and financial services representative

“Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state,” Gov. Reynolds said in a statement. 

“Jon has flipped a seat held by Democrats for decades,” House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, said in a statement. “This is further confirmation that Iowans are resoundingly rejecting the liberal policies coming from D.C. and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa.”

For his part, Dunwell told the Newton Daily News “Community engagement is very important to me. Being out and among people is very important to me. Giving everyone a seat at the table is very important to me,”

Last month, “Republican Mike Bousselot won a competitive race to keep an Ankeny-based Iowa House seat under GOP control,” according to the Des Moines Register’s Stephen Gruber-Miller.

The Hill reported that Dunwell’s victory marked the second instance of a Republican flipping a state office since President Joe Biden took office. The other was a state Senate seat in Connecticut.