Some Iowa Democrats seeking elected positions outside the capitol

Some Iowa Democrats seek elected positions outside the capitol
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:54 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - At least two Democratic Iowa lawmakers are willing to walk away from their statehouse position to run where they feel they can make more of an impact.

Republicans hold a wide majority in the Iowa House of Representatives and Senate plus the governor’s seat. That leaves Democrats with no power and little voice.

When voters head to the polls next Election Day they are going to see State Senator Molly Donahue, but not running for a state position. She plans to leave the Golden Dome to seek office as a county supervisor.

“I want to get out there and make the biggest impact for most people,” she said.

Republicans easily passed bills that target transgender Iowans, and abortion rights and siphon public dollars to private schools. She thinks she can get more done if she leaves Des Moines mid-term and runs against Supervisor Louis Zumbach for a position in Linn County.

“There will be more people there that I can actually work with,” said Donahue. “I’m here to make my community a better place. If I was up for election or if we were in the majority, I would say that I’d still run for the supervisor position because I want to work with the people.”

First-term Representative Ken Croken ran for the position of Mayor in Davenport this last session. Winning would have meant leaving his House seat before the end of his term.

“The bully pulpit available to me as mayor, I think would be more effective than state representative,” said Rep. Croken.

Croken lost his bid for mayor. So, he plans to finish the House term but feels he will get more traction by focusing on public safety and boosting Democrats in Davenport.

“I was hoping that as mayor I could be more effective at rebuilding the Democratic Party and reclaiming the majority in the state General Assembly.

While both Croken and Donahue plan to return to the state capitol in January, they don’t believe much is going to change.

“With the super GOP majority in Des Moines and their far-right agenda, there isn’t a great deal to be done,” said Rep. Croken.