DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican Jon Dunwell won the special election in Iowa House District 29 Tuesday. With this election, Iowa House Republicans flipped a seat previously held by State Rep. Wes Breckenridge, D-Newton, who resigned after accepting an Iowa Law Enforcement Academy position.
Iowa House Republicans head into the 2021 special session and 2022 session with a 60 to 40 majority.
According to unofficial results, Dunwell won almost 60 percent of the vote (59.8 percent with 2,820 votes) compared to Democrat Steve Mullan with 40.2 percent (1,890 votes).
Dunwell is a small business owner in Newton, founding Legacy Park Wealth. He pastored Westwood Church in Orlando, Fla. for 21 years. While in Florida, he served as the senior chaplain for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He ran for this seat in 2020, losing to Breckenridge by 3.1 percent.
Mullan is a member of the Newton City Council and a retired school teacher.
“Grateful. That is the feeling overwhelming me this evening after becoming the newly elected representative of House District 29. Thank you, Jasper County, for putting your faith in me to be your voice in the Iowa Statehouse. Throughout this campaign, I have had the honor of hearing from so many of you. Those who agreed with me and those who offered opposing viewpoints. I have learned so much and am eager to get to work representing each and every one of you. I have dedicated my life to making an impact in my community, and I’ll take that same attitude to my service at the Capitol,” Dunwell said in a released statement.
Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, congratulated Dunwell.
“Congratulations to Jon Dunwell for becoming the newly elected representative for House District 29. Jon will be a great voice for Jasper County. I look forward to having him in our caucus. Jon has flipped a seat held by Democrats for decades. This is further confirmation that Iowans are resoundingly rejecting the liberal policies coming from DC and influencing the Democratic Party in Iowa. They know Republicans are the leaders who listen to their concerns, take action on their priorities and deliver on our campaign promises. That is why Iowans continue to elect Republicans and grow our majority in the Iowa House,” he said.
Gov. Kim Reynolds congratulated Dunwell as well.
“Congratulations to Jon Dunwell on a hard-fought victory. I look forward to working with you to make our state the best place to live, work, and raise a family,” she said.
“Iowans have spoken loud and clear in these last two special elections about the direction we are taking the state. Candidates who stood strongly for parental choice, personal responsibility, and pro-growth policies were successful. And we are just getting started,” Reynolds added. “We have an incredible opportunity to keep up that momentum heading into this November’s Elections, but we can only do that if we show up and vote.”
Iowa House District 29 is located in Jasper County and includes Newton, Baxter, Colfax, Mingo, Kellogg, Oakland Acres, and Ira. Democrats (6511), as of October 1, held a slim voter registration edge in the district, with just 263 more registered voters than Republicans (6248), down from 1394 in 2018. In addition, there are 5849 independent voters in the district.