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Key Races to Watch in the Iowa Primary

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DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa’s primary doesn’t get as much attention as its caucuses, but the state does have some high profile races.

One, in particular, became even higher ever since Republican Senator Chuck Grassley said President Obama shouldn't get to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.

That made Democrats hope the public would rebel and kick out Grassley, who's been essentially unbeatable throughout most of his career.

Former Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge got in because of this Supreme Court issue. She has the money, backing from Washington D.C. and is known statewide.

She should have the advantage Tuesday night.

Cedar Rapids State Senator Rob Hogg doesn't have the money but has labor and almost every Democratic legislator behind him. He hopes he's outworked and out-campaigned her.

Hogg will find out how much power labor still has in a Democratic primary.

The race in the third congressional district is also crowded, and it became a little heated lately.

Jim Mowrer moved his family again to the district to run. He lost two years ago to Steve King when they lived in Boone.

Mike Sherzan's campaign had taped Mowrer, pledging to keep the race positive. They say Mowrer broke the pledge and went negative with an ad.

Mowrer says it wasn't negative, but regardless, it did annoy some Democrats. Mowrer should have had an edge in the district since he has run for Congress before and he's worked for the state party.

Sherzan self-funded most of his campaign.

Congressman Steve King has the advantage in his Republican primary for his fourth district seat. We don't usually see a sitting congressman get involved, but Rick Bertrand is doing it.

Bertrand is a Sioux City State Senator trying to beat a congressman in a primary for the first time in Iowa since 1948. That will be tough as King has the support of almost every statewide Republican leader.

The other contested primary's rematch of sorts is in the first district. This time Monica Vernon and Pat Murphy are the only Democratic candidates running.

Murphy won the nomination last time but lost in the general election. Vernon may have better luck this time.

The state legislature will also see some interesting races.

Two Democratic incumbents in Des Moines and another in Newton face challenges, as do Republicans in Cumming, Ankeny, and Johnston.

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