Maxwell will keep his Senate seat, defeating challengers Smith and Hammouda


Nina Baker

Republican incumbent Dave Maxwell beat out Democrat Sarah Smith and Independent Kamal Hammouda for the Iowa House of Representatives Seat 76.

With all precincts reporting, Maxwell captured 58% of the vote, with Smith trailing with 39% and Hammouda far behind with just 3%.

Maxwell’s win is a continuation of Republican control over the district. Representing District 76 since 2012, Maxwell has consistently beat out Democratic challengers; in 2018, Maxwell beat opponent Ann Egley by 16.9 points.

Poweshiek County, home of Grinnell and the majority of District 76 voters, was a tighter race than the District overall. Maxwell led with 53.6 percent, with Smith closer behind with 42 percent and Hammouda with 4.4 percent.

Maxwell, 77, works as a farmer and owns Maxwell Tiling. During the election, he urged voters to vote for a candidate with legislative experience – him – while Iowa dealt with the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing the difficulty of mounting a successful Independent challenge against Maxwell and Smith, Hammouda, 68, posted on his Facebook Page “Kamal for Iowa 2020” that if he doesn’t win, he thanks his supporters and hopes to “continue the march for a better community.”

Smith, 44, originally said her one-on-one connection with voters could lead to her success against Maxwell, despite the Republican history of District 76.

Neither Smith, Hammouda, nor Maxwell responded to requests for comment from The S&B regarding the results.

As of 11:00 p.m., Poweshiek County vote totals were unofficial, pending the election canvass by county auditor Missy Eilander.