MASON CITY – Republicans in Des Moines have been making automated phone calls with live callers on the line to North Iowa registered Republicans and Independents, as part of an energized effort to take out State Senator Amanda Ragan.
Calls have been received by several north Iowans, mainly from Mason City, from GOP political operatives during the last couple of weeks, according to sources who told NIT that they’ve gotten such calls.
Ragan had no comment when asked about the auto-calls.
Ragan, who is up for re-election in 2014, is high on the list of Democrats considered by both parties to be vulnerable next year, when Gov. Terry Branstad is also expected to be on the ballot. Ragan, who runs Mason City’s Community Kitchen, was first elected
in 2002 in a special election. She has been twice re-elected, in 2006 and again in 2010.
Ragan, whose brother is Cerro Gordo county Assessor John Boedeker, is expected to run for a fourth term next year.
The motivation for this early activity appears to be the surprise defeat of former state Senator Merlin Bartz, who lost by less than one percent of the vote last fall to Mary Jo Wilhelm. Bartz now runs the Mason City district office of U.S. Congressman Steve King.
The callers ask those they call about hypothetical match-ups, featuring Ragan being op- posed by either Bill Schickel or Roger Bang.