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Iowa's 3rd -- Ultimate Swing District

Iowa Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell spent Saturday night in a hospital in his home state just eight days after being released from Washington Hospital Center following surgery to remove a mass in his abdomen.

Eric Witte, a spokesman for Boswell, confirmed Tuesday that Boswell went back into a hospital over the weekend because of concerns that he might be developing an infection. He was kept overnight and released Sunday. Sources familiar with Boswell's condition say he continues to recover from the removal of the lump, which although it was noncancerous is being treated with chemotherapy. 

The state of Boswell's health could have significant ramifications in the battle for control of the House. If he is unable to move around the district or raise the money needed for what looks to be a costly battle, Republicans could have a real pick-up opportunity.

Iowa's 3rd District, which is located in the central part of the state and includes Des Moines, is a perennial Republican target, and for good reason. In both the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections it has been a near toss-up between the parties. George W. Bush carried the 3rd in 2004 by just more than 250 votes out of more than 300,000 cast.  Four years earlier Al Gore won a 49 percent to 48 percent victory with a margin of just 1,500 votes.

Republicans are also excited about their candidate -- state Senate President Jeff Lamberti (R). Lamberti formally announced his campaign on Monday. He ended September with $172,000 on hand; Boswell ended the period with $511,000 in the bank.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 18, 2005; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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