DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican Dave Rowley defeated Democrat Mark Allen Lemke in the special election in Iowa Senate District 1 on Tuesday. With 3,559 people voting, Rowley won 75.6 percent of the vote (2,690) to Lemke’s 24.3 percent (864).
Gov. Kim Reynolds established a special election following State Senator Zach Whiting’s resignation.
Iowa Senate District 1 is located in Clay, Dickinson, Lyon, Osceola, and Palo Alto counties, including Spirit Lake, Spencer, Emmetsburg, Sibley, and Rock Rapids.
Rowley, a Spirit Lake resident for the last 25 years, is an insurance agent at Blum and Leonard Associates. He is a former Dickinson County GOP chair and president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. He attended the University of Iowa, receiving a B.A. in Psychology.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the people of northwest Iowa. The work begins now. As the legislative session nears, I look forward to completing Senator Whiting’s term and achieving our shared priorities. There are many issues in front of the Iowa Senate as we end this year and I look forward to working with my Republican colleagues to get the job done,” Rowley said in a released statement.
Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, congratulated Rowley on his win.
“One of the most important aspects of Iowa Senate Republicans success in recent years has been the quality of our candidates. Dave Rowley is no exception. He has deep ties to northwest Iowa and I am confident he will do an outstanding job representing his constituents in the Iowa Senate. I look forward to working with Dave to continue to implement common sense reforms to government and reduce the tax burden on hard working Iowans,” he said.
Republicans have won all four special elections held in 2021, holding onto three Republican-held seats and flipping one Democrat-held seat.