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THIRD DISTRICT: Competitive Cul-De-Sac

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The race for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District is one of only two contests in the country pitting incumbents against each other.  Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell is running against Republican Congressman Tom Latham.

In Denny Wheeler’s Urbandale cul-de-sac, it’s a 60-40 split between Republicans and Democrats.

"We`re trying to win them over,” he says.

 His yard signs show his neighbors which side of the fence he’s on.

“We have six on this side of the house and I think maybe ten to 12 aligning the longer side of the house,” says Clarence Weihs. 

The candidates in the 3rd district have a combined 34 years on Capitol Hill.

 "I`ve supported Boswell over the years,” says Wheeler.

“Tom Latham is by far the preferable candidate,” says Weihs.

On The Insiders this morning, Democratic Congressman Leonard Boswell and Republican Congressman Tom Latham defended their voting records.

“The Wall Street $700 billion bailout, the stimulus package that`s going to cost well over a trillion dollars, the health care bill - another $2.6 trillion of additional spending- Congressman Boswell voted for those things.  I voted against them,” says Latham.

“There were people who were struggling.  Working class was struggling, middle class was struggling and a lot of things were happening that we needed to put the brakes on,” says Boswell.

Boswell says he voted for a bi-partisan plan to reign in the national debt, but Latham did not.

“Those who did vote on it was pretty much half and half.  Half Democrat and half Republican which I thought was a good indication of trying to get something off-center and get going,” says Boswell.

Iowa farmers are looking to Washington to get going and pass a Farm Bill.  Latham say the vote is set for after the election, but that isn't the only concern.

“They`re really concerned about all the regulations they see coming out of Washington,” he says. 

While they spar on most issues, Latham and Boswell agree on the need to compromise.  Iowa voters will only send one of the two incumbents back to Washington.

The Des Moines Register endorsed Latham.  The paper says the republican has a more impressive record and his close relationship with republican leaders could help Iowans.

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