Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. They have experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald.

Iowa governor signs elder abuse penalties amid a flurry of new laws

By: and - June 15, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds sat down with a pile of pens Wednesday at Highland Ridge, a senior care facility in Williamsburg. She signed Senate File 522, a bill establishing criminal penalties for elder abuse. It passed unanimously in both chambers of the Iowa Statehouse. Supporters of the bill gathered around the desk where she signed the […]

Iowa invests $100 million in federal funds toward school security, mental health

By: - June 14, 2022

Iowa will allocate $100 million in federal funds toward school security and mental health programs, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday. She proposed the investment, which includes no gun control measures, for prevention of school shootings and other violence, she said at a news conference. The plan starts with the creation of a School Safety Bureau, […]

Republicans link Iowa Democrats with Biden in red wave bid

By: - June 11, 2022

Republican energy was high at Iowa’s State Republican Convention Saturday. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate held up a newspaper, reading aloud a story on high Republican turnout in the June 7 primary election. “We need to continue to do that,” Pate told the crowd. Republicans are hoping to turn that voter participation into a […]

Reynolds’ school choice push worked in the primaries, ousting incumbents

By: - June 11, 2022

Gov. Kim Reynolds put her weight into several Republican primaries for Iowa House seats, hoping to gain supporters for her education agenda. Her efforts paid off, and she made it clear Saturday the issue will be central to her campaign. “Ultimately, we’re going to make sure that every parent has a choice in their child’s […]

Gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear calls for gun reform in the wake of Ames shooting

By: - June 10, 2022

Deidre DeJear said there were no empty seats in Cornerstone Church last Sunday. The Democratic gubernatorial candidate attended a service in the Ames church days after an armed man shot and killed two women, then himself, in the church parking lot. The community was still reeling from the senseless violence, she said, but came together […]

Turnout soars in primary election despite early voting changes

By: - June 8, 2022

While Iowa saw a huge turnout in Tuesday’s primary election, critics say absentee voting laws may have slowed some voter participation. The state reached its second-highest turnout for a primary election since 1994 Tuesday night, with more than 356,000 voters participating. The highest primary turnout was in 2020 by a large margin: More than 522,000 […]

Iowa polling location

Mike Franken wins Democratic nomination to take on Sen. Chuck Grassley

By: - June 7, 2022

Retired U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Franken won the Democratic nomination for Iowa’s U.S. Senate seat on Tuesday, beating former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer. The Associated Press called the competitive primary race for Franken at 9:13 p.m., with 55.2% of votes cast. His opponents, Finkenauer and Minden city councilman Glenn Hurst, won 40% and 4.8% of the […]

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley wins primary race for re-election bid

By: - June 7, 2022

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley won his Republican primary Tuesday against State Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, in Iowa’s June 7 election. The Associated Press called Grassley’s race at 8:27 p.m. He earned 73.5% of votes counted. Grassley, 88, has served as a senator representing Iowa since 1981, and has won seven re-election campaigns over the […]

Election security measures in place for primary, officials say

By: - June 6, 2022

Iowa and national agency officials said Monday they were working to counter a growing distrust of elections by discussing measures to ensure security of Tuesday’s primary vote. Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate held a press conference Monday to discuss measures to prevent election fraud and tampering both at the ballot box and in early voting […]

Senate Democratic candidates contrast experience, identity in primary lead-up

By: - June 4, 2022

It’s the home stretch for candidates in Iowa’s primary races, and those competing in the Democratic Senate primary are using their last few days on the campaign trail to emphasize to voters why they’re the best chance to win the U.S. Senate seat come November. It’s not just policy points, but life experiences that voters […]

Party divides in Republican primaries

Iowa Republican legislative primaries reveal party divisions

By: - June 2, 2022

Rep. Dean Fisher, R-Montour, held his seat in the Iowa House of Representatives for nine years serving District 72. But starting next year, that seat will no longer exist. Iowa’s newly redistricted election maps went into effect this year, changing the boundaries of many seats in the state Legislature. While the represented area has changed, […]