DES MOINES, Iowa -- With 98 votes separating him from victory, Bob Kressig has been re-elected to Iowa's District 19 House seat.
The morning after Election Day, Kressig, a director at $1 billion Veridian Credit Union, said he was ahead by 98 votes against his opponent, Republican Matt Reisetter for the Cedar Falls district. According to unofficial results from the Iowa Secretary of State's Web site, as of 11:50 a.m., Nov. 8, Kressig still had 5,137 votes and Reisetter had 5,039 votes, with all 12 precincts reporting.
"There are a few ballots still out there," Kressig told Credit Union Times the morning after Election Day. "We have a fairly accurate system in Iowa for tabulating votes. Human error is not a part of it."
Kressig was expecting later in the day on Nov. 8 to be "a good indicator" of when he will know for sure if he's been re-elected. At the time, he estimated that there might be at least 50 votes that have not been counted including absentee ballots from military personnel. Kressig said Reisetter needs 100 votes to win. By nearly 4:00 p.m., Kressig had received confirmation that he was the winner.
"My opponent hasn't called me yet so that might be an indicator that he thinks the votes will change," Kressig said in the late afternoon on Nov. 8. "[He] has come out in the papers saying he doesn't think he lost the race because of me but because of a national backlash against the Republicans. I don't look him to concede."
Iowa is now controlled by the Democrats, including former Secretary of State Chet Culver who defeated Republican Jim Nussle, for governor Kressig said. The Senate is now mostly made up of Democrats. Democrats have been in the legislative minority for the past 10 years, he added.
On the shift in power, "that's good news because I'll have more input," said Kressig, who will represent Cedar Falls. "[The Democrats] get to make some positive moves for Iowa."
To say the least, Election Day was "very busy" with Kressig making several last minute visits to supporters in his district. His family hosted a get-together at his home before heading off to another Democrat Party event, of which 400 people attended. Staying up to keep tabs on election results, Kressig finally got to bed at about 2:00 a.m.
"I knew it was going to be close," Kressig said of his re-election.
Kressig's voting record centers mostly on playing a significant part in increasing funding for Iowa's post-secondary schools, increasing the personal expense allotment for Medicare recipients and continuing to push for bringing more jobs to rural parts of the state, which have seen new, "good paying" jobs as a result of a transition from traditional manufacturing to bio fuel. During this past legislative session, Iowa legislators have not seen credit unions as a threat.
This is not the first time that Kressig's election has been close. Iowa credit unions scored a huge victory in helping Kressig to the Iowa House of Representatives in 2004. Kressig proved a strong and popular challenger in his win over incumbent Erv Dennis in a highly competitive race where the winning margin was less than 200 votes out of 13,000 cast.
Looking forward, Kressig said there's a lot of things that need to be done in Iowa, particularly with education and health care. Credit unions will also continue to have a presence at the state's capitol.
"I can be that voice again," Kressig said. --firstname.lastname@example.org