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Loebsack re-elected to U.S. House

BY BRENT GRIFFITHS | NOVEMBER 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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DAVENPORT — The Jersey Grille in Davenport erupted as the announcement became official: U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, had won re-election, defeating GOP challenger John Archer.

Loebsack won 68 percent of the vote in Johnson County, with 48,669 votes. Archer won 31 percent of the vote, taking 22,114 votes. Loebsack will now serve his fourth term in Congress.

“This has been a great night for Democrats and an even better night for America,” Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba said as he introduced the victorious congressman to the packed bar and grill.

Loebsack said his campaign was “confident” they would win two weeks out but continued to campaign visiting every one of the 24 counties in the new district a couple of times.

“We knew if we won Scott County ,we would win this election, and we did,” Loebsack said as onlookers erupted with cheers. “It’s wonderful we won a couple of counties we never won before, and when that happened, we knew we won.”

Archer was hopeful in his concession speech but admitted it had been a rough night for Republicans, including him.

“This is not the last you’ve heard of John Archer,” he said to crowd of still enthusiastic supporters. “Tonight just wasn’t our night, not our night for Republicans, either.”

One of the first items Loebsack will face when he returns to office to finish out his current term on Nov. 13 will be the so called “fiscal cliff” or the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts combined with scheduled cuts from last year's budget agreement.

“The bottom line folks is there is a heck of a lot of work to be done in D.C.,” Loebsack said. ”There’s a tall order in front of us … but I look forward to the next couple of months.”

An official with the Scott County Democratic Party said while Loebsack was new to parts of the district, he was able to build on previous relationships and work with supporters to continue to build support.

“Congressman Loebsack is a very effective campaigner and has done a good job in the short period of time in the new district,” said Susan Frembgen, the chairwoman of the Scott County Democratic Party. “I think people will learn to depend on Dave.”

Loebsack said he hopes serious talks about the budget and the deficit can begin now that the election is over.

“Regardless of how Congress turns out I certainly hope we can take this as seriously as the American people do," he said.

Beyond the budget, Loebsack says he will continue to focus on renewing the wind energy tax credit, which is set to expire at the end of this year.

“This should have been extended a long time ago,” he said. We’ve already seen the affects of the uncertainty. [The tax credit] helps to level the playing field.”

Loebsack previously told The Daily Iowan he believes certainty is one of the keys to continuing job creation, and specifically believes people need to know their set income tax rate.

“Everybody is talking about uncertainty,” he said during a sit-down interview with The Daily Iowan on Sept. 28. "People who have jobs at convenience store next want to know what their income tax rate will be.”

Loebsack said this job creation is key to strengthening the middle class.

“We need to protect the middle class and restore the middle class,” he said. “It’s what makes us exceptional.”

Reporter Nick Hassett contributed to this story.


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