OTTUMWA — The 2020 elections are more than a year away, but they continued to take shape this week as Cherielynn Westrich announced a run for Iowa House District 81.
Westrich, a Republican, ran for the seat in 2018 but fell short against longtime incumbent Mary Gaskill. Westrich took 45.5 percent of the vote, the highest percentage by a challenger to Gaskill in the past five elections.
Gaskill has not yet announced whether she plans to seek re-election. The 81st District includes Ottumwa and portions of rural Wapello County.
Westrich moved to Ottumwa six years ago. She became the second Ottumwa Republican to announce plans to seek office this week, following Iowa Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ announcement she will run for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District seat.