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Bill calls for run-off elections when primary voters don’t push candidate past 35% threshhold

DES MOINES — The Iowa Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would get rid of the special conventions that pick party nominees if no candidate gets at least 35 percent of the vote on Primary Election Day.

Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale found himself in that situation five years ago. He was the top vote-getter in the Republican Primary in Iowa’s third congressional district, but with just 25 percent. A district nomination convention had to be held — and G-O-P delegates chose David Young over Zaun.  “God had a different plan for me and I’m so glad I’m not out there in that dysfunction in that cesspool out there in Washington, D.C.,” Zaun says.

Zaun’s bill calls for having a run-off election in early August if none of the candidates in the June Primary Election get at least 35 percent of the vote. “What this bill does is it creates a run-off between the top two vote getters and then that person would be the nominee for whatever the party is,” Zaun said.

The Iowa Senate has embraced this run-off concept before, but it has stalled in the House and the bill faces a deadline this year. If a House committee fails to pass the bill by Friday, it will be sidelined for the year.


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