Iowa Republicans promoting 'Girl Power'

GOP collecting female firsts in recent Iowa elections

Gov. Kim Reynolds (from left) and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst wave to the crowd during the Inaugural Celebration of Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown in Des Moines on Friday, Jun. 2, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
Gov. Kim Reynolds (from left) and U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst wave to the crowd during the Inaugural Celebration of Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Des Moines Downtown in Des Moines on Friday, Jun. 2, 2017. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Iowa Republicans aren’t going to let you forget it - when it comes to putting women in top government jobs, they are winning.

Top party officials gathered for their annual Reagan Dinner this week in Des Moines, including Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel. They took the opportunity to gently remind Democrats about Republican women’s winning streak in Iowa.

State Rep. Linda Upmeyer posted a photo from this week’s event to Twitter under the banner “GIRL POWER!!!” and showing herself alongside Gov. Kim Reynolds and Romney McDaniel.

Ernst became the first Iowa woman to win a federal election in 2014. Earlier this year, Reynolds became our first woman acting governor, and she seems well-positioned to become our first woman elected governor next year. Iowa also has Upmeyer, the first woman to serve as House speaker, and Mary Mosiman, the first woman elected state auditor.

Before Ernst’s victory, Iowa and Mississippi were the only states to never elect a woman to high office. Many Democrats were quietly frustrated that Republicans were the ones to break that glass ceiling.

To be clear, exit polls from the past few elections show a majority of women still tend to vote Democrat. And Republican women are still outnumbered more than two-to-one by Democrat women in the Iowa Legislature.

Yet top jobs matter, along with the statewide exposure that comes with. Iowans see photos and video of Reynolds and Ernst on a weekly basis, and that could help render the Democrats’ “War on Women” messaging ineffective among some voters.

• Comments: (319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

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