Iowa voters decided Tuesday to retain a state Supreme Court justice who participated in the landmark 2009 ruling that made Iowa the first Midwestern state to have marriage equality, trumping a conservative campaign to oust him. And they rejected the Republican Party’s bid to take control of the Iowa Senate, where conservatives hoped to pass a constitutional amendment asking voters to limit marriage rights to unions between one man and one woman. Instead, Iowans re-elected Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs, who has blocked debate of that amendment for three years. He has repeatedly said he would not allow debate on a measure that would enshrine discrimination in the Iowa Constitution, a stand that put his 30-year career on the line. Republicans and social conservatives targeted Gronstal in the hopes of removing that roadblock on Tuesday, but Gronstal easily won re-election with 55 percent of the vote. And Gronstal announced early Wednesday that he believed Democrats would keep their slim majority in the Iowa Senate, picking up the 26 seats they need to continue running the chamber.
- Our Work