Staff Columnist

After Dix resignation, time for a woman to lead Senate GOP

Iowa Republicans have chance to prove they care about women's equality

Amy Sinclair Iowa District 14 senator speaks during a Pipeline/Running for Office forum at a Women in Politics Symposium at Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus Friday, April 18, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)
Amy Sinclair Iowa District 14 senator speaks during a Pipeline/Running for Office forum at a Women in Politics Symposium at Old Capitol on the University of Iowa campus Friday, April 18, 2014, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette-KCRG)

Outgoing Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix resigned his Senate seat Monday afternoon after a video surfaced apparently showing him kissing a lobbyist at a Des Moines bar.

Iowa Republicans already are battling an anti-woman reputation, fueled by the embarrassing sexual harassment cover-up. A former Senate GOP staffer won a $1.75 million settlement last year after a court found she was wrongly fired for complaining about workplace harassment.

Dix was in charge during that shameful episode, and was widely criticized for not addressing the workplace climate adequately. Dix and his staff withheld details about the incident and their response to it, generating little confidence about their leadership abilities.

Republicans now have an opportunity to show they are serious about gender equality, and fight back against the “war on women” rhetoric. The best way to do that is for Republicans in the Iowa Senate to unanimously elect Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, as their next leader.

Sinclair is the only woman among 29 Republicans in the Iowa Senate. She already serves as an assistant majority leader, a committee chair, and a committee vice chair. She is widely respected among the conservative base and Republican Party insiders.

Sinclair would join fellow Republicans Gov. Kim Reynolds and House Speaker Linda Upmeyer as the most powerful people in state government. Such a sight would go a long way toward repairing the GOP’s struggling public perception.

Related: After Roy Moore mess, America needs more women

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

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