Rep. Olson to Lead Iowa Democratic Party

By James Lynch, Reporter

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Rep. Tyler Olson, D-Cedar Rapids, has been elected chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. He will serve through 2014.

"Iowa Democrats have a proud tradition of fighting for an economy built from the middle out, equal rights and the idea that our strength draws from the connections we share," Olson said. "I'm honored and excited to help lead the next chapter in that effort alongside our great Democratic elected officials, partners and supporters across the state.

Looking ahead, Olson said 2014 "brings a real opportunity to build on Democrats' gains in Des Moines and Washington, D.C., not just to say we won an election, but to expand educational and job opportunities for all Iowans.”

Olson and his wife, Sarah, have two young children. He is vice-president at Paulson Electric, a family business started by his great-grandfather in 1928 with offices in Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo.

He is a graduate of Washington High School in Cedar Rapids and earned a law degree from the University of Iowa

He was recently re-elected to his fourth term in the Iowa House where he serves as ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

Members of the State Central Committee voted to elect Heather Matson as 1st vice chair, Chris Petersen as 2nd vice chair, Jean Pardee as 3rd Vice Chair, and Ken Sagar as treasurer, and Don Ruby as secretary.

It also was announced that Troy Price will become the Iowa Democratic Party’s new executive director Jan. 28. Price most recently served as political director for the Obama campaign in Iowa in 2012. Prior to working on the reelection effort, Price was the executive director of One Iowa, the state’s largest LGBT advocacy organization, and previously served in the administrations’ of former Iowa governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver.

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