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Election Roundup: Ag Leaders Win, Voters Deliver Mixed Message on GMOs

16:49PM Nov 05, 2014
US Capitol WDC 7 11

Yesterday, we told you about the 7 states with midterm elections worth watching for farmers. Today, we’ll tell you what happened.  

Iowa: Republican Joni Ernst won the seat of retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), beating Democrat Bruce Braley. The agricultural connection proved to be a key part of this race. Earlier this year, Braley, a lawyer, made an ill-considered remark referring to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley as a “farmer from Iowa without a law degree.” It damaged Braley as much as Ernst’s “let’s make them squeal” campaign ad, which referred to her years growing up on her family’s hog farm.  

Kansas: U.S. Senator Pat Roberts held onto his seat, defeating independent candidate Greg Orman. Roberts may now become chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Also in Kansas: Tim Huelskamp won re-election to the House of Representatives, despite a very public conflict in 2012 with Speaker of the House John Boehner. The spat resulted in Huelskamp being booted off the influential House Agriculture Committee.

Minnesota: U.S. Representative Collin Peterson survived the 2014 elections, beating state legislator and Republican challenger Torrey Westrom. It will be the 13th term for Peterson, who is the senior Democrat on the House Agriculture Committee and helped write the 2014 farm bill, according to the Associated Press.

Arkansas:  In a hotly contested race, U.S. Representative Tom Cotton ousted Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) from his U.S. Senate seat. Cotton and Pryor traded barbs over their votes on the 2014 farm bill.  

Hawaii: Maui voters temporarily banned the cultivation of GMOs in their locality, an outcome that could affect seed technology far beyond the Hawaii county’s borders; Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences both research and develop new biotechnology there.

Colorado: Voters said no to mandatory GMO labeling of food in Colorado.

Oregon: Voters in this Pacific Northwest state also voted against GMO labeling of food.

What do you think of Tuesday's election results? How do you see them affecting agriculture? Share your thoughts on AgWeb's policy and politics discussion board.