MUSCATINE — Republican Mark Lofgren defeated Democratic incumbent Chris Brase 56.8 percent to 43 percent of the votes in the race for Iowa Senate District 46.
Lofgren served in the Iowa House from 2011-2015, and said his experience on the international relations and appropriations committees will make moving to the Iowa Senate a natural step.
“I’ve already had a leadership position, so I’ll be able to step right in there,” he said.
His focus, he said, will be on the state budget and promoting economic growth.
“That’s a very high priority for me, like I said, and the budget,” Lofgren said. “We need to stick with that. I always say that our budget is our greatest economic tool, because if we have a good solid budget, it’s more likely a company will want to locate in the state of Iowa.”
The 50-seat Senate had 25 Democrats, 23 Republicans and one independent senator prior to the election, which resulted in split party control. During his time in the Iowa House, Lofgren said he enjoyed his party’s control, but he has worked with Democrats in the past.
“I’ve always got good support from both parties. So, you know, I want to collaborate and I guess that’s a strength that I have,” he said. “Being in business for a lot of years, I always kind of say is a strong attribute because you have to work with people and I intend to work with the other party the best we can.”
Lofgren began his campaign almost a year and a half ago, and said that volunteers marching in 25 parades with him and his experiences knocking on doors around Muscatine County have helped make the campaign a success.
“Muscatine’s been very good to my family and to me, so we really appreciate that, and we appreciate all the people that have walked in parades and have contributed and helped us,” he said.
Brase said he is unsure of his next steps, but he respects the decision his constituents and the voters have made.
“I really want to thank all the volunteers, all the supporters, everybody that believed in my race. I can’t thank those people enough for all their support,” he said.