Like every one of you, I was ecstatic Tuesday night watching the results pour in from all corners of the state.
First it was Brian Schoenjahn, a twelve year incumbent. We knew he was taking a beating early on in the night, but we were stunned to see the final vote as gun owners threw him out of office by a margin of 6,197 votes!
Next to fall was Mary Jo Wilhelm, a longtime incumbent and Assistant Majority Leader in the Iowa Senate.
Mary Jo was absolutely crushed, I don’t know how else to say it, as she lost by over 24% to pro-gun candidate Waylon Brown.
Of course, the biggest shock of the night was seeing Mike Gronstal himself removed from office by gun owners in Council Bluffs and Carter Lake by a solid 1,869 vote margin.
Gronstal has been in office since 1982, when I was just 2 years old!
As the Senate Majority Leader, Gronstal ran the entire Democratic machine here in Iowa.
More than that, he Chairs the National Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, an organization that works at the national level to elect anti-gun legislators.
Considered invincible by most organizations who were too scared to engage in that race, Gronstal went down hard Tuesday night at the hands of angry gun owners who’d simply had enough.
Of course one of the most enjoyable races to watch Tuesday was that of Senate Judiciary Chairman Steve Sodders.
Sodders, as all of you know, was personally responsible for killing Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law.
He was arrogant about it the entire time, and tried to personally destroy anyone who called him out for not supporting the Second Amendment.
And he paid a price for his non-stop support of gun control as the voters booted him from office by 6% in favor of pro-gun candidate Jeff Edler!
Same story with former Senator Chris Brase and former Senator Thomas Courtney — both former Senators because they were bounced from office by mobilized gun owners who’d had enough with their support of gun control!
And so now, for the first time since our fight to pass Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law began back in 2009, we have a pro-gun majority in both chambers of the legislature and a Republican governor.
This is your victory!
No party did this, nor did any outside group.
This was done by hundreds of thousands of gun owners who were fed up with years of obstruction on the part of the leadership of the Senate Democratic caucus.
A huge thank you is due to all of the donors, volunteers, and activists of Iowa Gun Owners!
I can’t thank you enough for your relentless support of the Second Amendment and your humbling generosity to this organization.
Thanks exclusively to your generosity, we ran an election program of $150,000 in targeted races across the state consisting of radio ads, TV ads, mountains of direct mail and ‘slicks,’ a huge Facebook and Internet ad program , a massive ground game and more.
It was huge, it had to be. And it was successful, beyond our wildest expectations. And every single bit of it was made possible by our supporters.
So what happens now?
Well, now the real push begins.
Already this Friday the Iowa Senate will convene to have their leadership elections and begin to lay out an agenda for the 2017 legislative session.
We had 24 pro-gun legislators in the Senate as of Tuesday morning. After the results of the elections, we should have 30. So passing major pro-gun legislation should be simple.
But passing major legislation like this is never simple as is seems. And it’s never easy.
The members of Iowa Gun Owners need to be on guard and ready fight when this session convenes as the Des Moines Register and anti-gun legislators like Senator Matt McCoy and Rep. Ako Samad and other will do everything they can to halt the progress of these bills.
And we all know that just because a candidate says they back the Second Amendment at election time, doesn’t always mean they will once safely in office.
So now isn’t a time to relax. We must take advantage of these new pro-gun majorities or this election season will be in vain!
And it’s also critical that we make big steps in securing the Second Amendment here in Iowa. It’s not enough to pass some tiny incremental legislation, we need to go all out!
As always, Iowa Gun Owners will be leading that charge and we hope you’ll be there with us as we push for Stand-Your-Ground and Constitutional Carry legislation in 2017.
Please take a moment today to sign our petitions in support of both pieces of this legislation. It’s a new year, so we need to begin this process again.
We want to be able to deliver a mountain of signed petitions when the legislature convenes in January.
And again, I can’t thank you enough for standing with us all fall as we executed our election program. You guys and gals made this all happen. Thank you!
P.S. Tuesday marked the end of Mike Gronstal’s and Steve Sodders’ reign of terror over the Second Amendment here in Iowa as both of them, as well as four more of their colleagues, were systematically booted out of office by angry gun owners!
It was an incredible night, and the end to an incredible program that Iowa Gun Owners ran in targeted districts all over the state.
But none of the mail, the TV ads, the radio ads, the Facebook program, the ‘slicks,’ — none of that would have been possible without the continued generosity of the members of Iowa Gun Owners!
Thank you for giving us the resources to fight for you!
Our battle to pass Constitutional Carry and Stand-Your-Ground law is now underway for the 2017 session. Now is the time!
So please, take a moment to sign both of these critical petitions again, right now!