DES MOINES, Iowa – Republicans hold the seat made vacant in Iowa House District 37 after the death of State Rep. John Landon, R-Ankeny, in a special election on Tuesday. Republican Michael Bousselot, the former director of the Iowa Department of Management, defeated Democrat Andrea Phillips 51.5 percent (5,920) to 48.3 percent (5,543).
“I am honored. I am humbled. I am beyond thrilled to be the newly elected representative for Iowa House District 37. I have pledged to be a representative that listens. Someone who hears from my community and takes action on the issues they care most about. I am prepared to fight tooth and nail for policies that will keep our community safe, your freedoms protected and our economy thriving,” he said in a released statement.
“I have big shoes to fill. John Landon was a great man with a servant’s heart and an unmatched level of dedication. I will follow in his footsteps as I head to Des Moines to be a principled leader for the community he loved so deeply,” he added.
Before heading the Iowa Department of Management, Bousselot served as chief of staff, legal counsel, and a policy advisor in the Branstad – Reynolds administration. A Davenport native, Bousselot lives in Ankeny with his wife, Holly. He graduated from the University of Iowa with undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting and a law degree from Drake University Law School.
Phillips, an Ankeny resident, lost her third race in Iowa House District 37. He also defeated her in 2020 by 6.4 percent, whom he also defeated by 15 points in 2016.
Iowa House District 37 has become slightly more competitive for Democrats shrinking the voter registration edge Republicans enjoyed to 1555 from 3,865 in 2016.
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, called the race a referendum on the mask mandate ban, support for law enforcement, and fiscal responsibility.
“Once again, the people of Ankeny have spoken loud and clear on the type of leader they want representing them in the Iowa Statehouse. Iowans want the freedom to make their own decisions regarding COVID-19. Iowans want leaders who will support law enforcement. Iowans want leaders who will be responsible with their tax money. Mike is that leader for HD 37 and I look forward to having him join our caucus in the Iowa House,” he said.
State Rep. Ross Wilburn, D-Ames, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, blamed the loss on the Republican Party of Iowa’s “dirty and underhanded tactics.”
“This was a tough race and I’m thankful that Andrea Phillips ran a positive campaign focused on the issues Iowans care about – affordable health care, good public schools, and safe neighborhoods,” he said in a released statement. “While her opponent and the Iowa GOP resorted to lies and conspiracy theories, Andrea led with common sense and Iowa values.”