Beth Wessel-Kroeschell and Lisa Heddens win seats in iowa House of Representatives


Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State Daily

Iowa House of Representatives democratic candidate, Beth Wessel-Kroeschell. Photo: William Deaton/Iowa State Daily

Katelynn Mccollough

Beth Wessel-Kroeschell and Lisa Heddens were re-elected once again Tuesday for the Iowa House of Representatives Districts 45 and 46.

The two races remained close as results continued to come in from the 9 p.m. poll closing with winners not being declared until after midnight.

“It was the Ames precincts that still had lines at 9 o’clock,” said Lucy Martin, Story County auditor, who explained that they were dealing with many new registered voters.

All of District 46 is within Ames, and the majority of District 45 is as well.

The county auditor’s office is still working to tally the number of newly registered voters and the numbers of how many chose to register on election night.

Martin explained that many locations, such as Maple Hall, Memorial Lutheran Church and Union Drive Community Center, still had people in line at 9 p.m. registering to vote. 

Anyone in line by 9 p.m. was allowed to vote, but processing new voters took time.

Wessel-Kroeschell will be serving her fourth term for District 45, Heddens her sixth term for District 46.

Wessel-Kroeschell campaigned against Republican candidate Dane Nealson and Libertarian candidate Eric Cooper. She ended the night with a total of 8,606 votes compared to Nealson’s 5,054 and Cooper’s 877.

Heddens ran against ISU student and Republican candidate Stephen Quist. Heddens ended the night with 8,764 votes to Quist’s 5,178.

Before the absentee ballots were tallied at the end of the night, the results between the candidates remained close. Wessel-Kroeschell led Nealson by 669 votes and Heddens led Quist by 661 votes.

“I think that’s a testament to how our ‘Get the Vote Out’ really worked,” said Abhishek Vemuri, president of the college Democrats, about the Democrats’ effort to get students to vote early.

Kyle Etzel, president of the College Republicans, felt that the early voting did the opposite for student candidate, Quist.

“I think the hardest part for him [Quist] was the early voting,” Etzel said. “It was just not enough time to get out his information.”

Quist was running for office for the first time, and Etzel fears that students who voted early voted straight ticket before fully researching both candidates.

Vemuri stated that Wessel-Kroeschell’s and Heddens’ “established” political careers may have given them “more of a reliable record” for students to connect with.

“It was awesome to have a student running,” Etzel said, who believes that Nealson and Quist will “remain active” in politics.

“They care too much to not stay active.”

Martin stated that it appeared same-day registration in the state of Iowa may have gone up Tuesday, though they will not know for sure for several days. She believes that this increase may have come from voters being more aware of same-day registration within the state.

The Democrats kept control of the Iowa Senate with 26 seats to the Republicans’ 24. The Republicans will remain in control in the House of Representatives with 59 seats to the Democrats’ 40 seats and one seat still vacant.