State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla looks at vote totals during a reception at Denny&rsquo;s Restaurant in Carroll Tuesday night. Also looking at his notes &mdash; given to him by his wife in a phone call &mdash; are Beth Starman (left) and Lisa Danzer (center). Muhlbauer defeated Republican Barney Bornhoft and will represent the Iowa House 12th District. <span style="font-size: xx-small;"><em>Daily Times Herald photos by Jeff Storjohann</em></span>
State Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, D-Manilla looks at vote totals during a reception at Denny’s Restaurant in Carroll Tuesday night. Also looking at his notes — given to him by his wife in a phone call — are Beth Starman (left) and Lisa Danzer (center). Muhlbauer defeated Republican Barney Bornhoft and will represent the Iowa House 12th District. Daily Times Herald photos by Jeff Storjohann
Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Democratic incumbent Dan Muhlbauer looks forward to passing a property-tax-reform bill when he gets back to the Iowa House after winning the 12th District election Tuesday with nearly 61 percent of the vote.

The one-term Manilla native beat Republican challenger Barney Bornhoft, of Carroll, by a vote of 9,145-5,843, according to unofficial results.

“It’s a true honor to represent this district,” Muhlbauer said at a post-election party with his family at Denny’s Restaurant in Carroll Tuesday night. “We need people who are willing to work together. We will do the best work we can for Iowa if we’re able to come together.”

And then he got right down to business and talked about roads and bridges, school funding, and mental-health reform as the top issues in the session that starts in January. Muhlbauer said that in order to solve these issues there needs to be more cooperation between the two major parties. He said he’s willing to continue to reach across the aisle to work with Republicans.

Muhlbauer said that despite criticism saying Iowa legislators couldn’t get anything done because of the partisan divide between the House and Senate, he believes that’s when government works best. He said it’s dangerous when one party controls the House, Senate and governorship because the government is set up as a system of checks and balances.

Muhlbauer also mentioned he wants to raise support for the state Department of Natural Resources and agriculture.

He said agriculture brings in 70 percent of the state’s revenue so the state needs to do more to support it.

Muhlbauer said he will also fight to continue funding Des Moines Area Community College, which could be important for the college after it reported enrollment declined by 7 percent this year.

He said the community college is important because it keeps workers in the community and trains people for good careers.

Bornhoft said he enjoyed the campaign — everything from meeting with service-club members, to a candidate forum, to going door to door — and would entertain another run for office in the future.

“I enjoyed the entire political process,” Bornhoft said. He said it’s what makes America unique.