OTTUMWA — Democrat Mary Gaskill lost her re-election bid as Republicans added to their state house majority Wednesday.

Republican Cherielynn Westrich defeated Gaskill in the State House District 81 race Tuesday, according to unofficial returns. Westrich recorded 6,672 votes, more than Gaskill’s 5,888 votes.

Gaskill was seeking a 10th term to the Statehouse. Westrich challenged Gaskill in 2018 but came up nine points shy.

Westrich was born in Missouri and grew up in a small town outside of St. Louis. Her career is building and restoring cars, and she had spent nearly a decade working on “Overhaulin’,” an automotive-centric reality television series.

House Republicans increased their hold on the state house by six seats, according to unofficial returns.

Republican Ken Rozenboom held onto his seat in the Iowa Senate against a Democratic challenger.

With all precincts reporting, Rozenboom tallied nearly 22,000 votes toward his re-election to Iowa Senate District 40.

He ended the night with an unofficial tally of 21,977 votes. Democratic challenger Lance Roorda received 8,741.

In the 42nd district, Republican Jeff Reichman won by a 19-point margin over his Democratic challenger Rich Taylor.

Amy Sinclair was re-elected to Iowa Senate District 14. A Republican, she was unopposed and received 24,288 votes.

Republican Dustin Hite was unopposed and re-elected to State House District 79. He recorded 13,390 votes.

Holy Brink, another unopposed Republican, was re-elected to State House District 80. She recorded 12,106 votes.

Republican Joe Mitchell kept his seat in the 84th district by a more than 42-point margin against Democratic challenger Jeff Fager.

Kyle Ocker is the group editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @Kyle_Ocker.


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Kyle Ocker is a Centerville native and award-winning multimedia journalist. Kyle is currently the first vice president of the Iowa Freedom of Information Council and vice president of the Iowa Print Sports Writers Association.

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