116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Republicans are criticizing Democratic congressional candidate Liz Mathis for previously describing herself as co-owner of a small marketing business, even though the company refutes the claim.
Mathis, a state senator from Hiawatha, is running for the U.S. House in Eastern Iowa’s new 2nd District. She is the only Democrat in the campaign, and will face Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson in this fall’s general election.
In myriad spaces, Mathis has described herself as co-owner or mentioned her family ownership in a small marketing business: on financial disclosure documentation for the Iowa Legislature in 2012 and 2013, in literature for her 2020 Iowa Senate campaign, on the business networking website LinkedIn and in a 2021 podcast.
Mathis’ claims and the company’s denial first were reported by Fox News.
The small business to which Mathis refers is AMPERAGE, a Cedar Falls-based marketing company that grew out of a merger with a company called ME&V. Business records for that company show that her husband, Mark, was one of the organizers of ME&V but do not show Liz Mathis as being involved with the firm.
A spokesperson for AMPERAGE confirmed to The Gazette that Liz Mathis also was never a co-owner of its company. The company spokesperson also confirmed Mark Mathis used to be a co-owner of AMPERAGE but has since become a special projects consultant.
References to AMPERAGE have been removed from the senator’s LinkedIn page, according to screenshots posted by Fox News, which also posted a screenshot of Mathis’ 2020 Iowa Senate campaign website, which said she and Mark own a marketing and advertising company in Cedar Falls.
“This doesn’t pass the smell test and it’s time for Liz Mathis to begin answering questions,” Iowa Republican Party Chair Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement issued after the Fox News report published last week. “For a decade, Mathis has been touting her ownership of a business and even included it on financial disclosures in the Iowa Senate. When folks started asking questions, she backtracked.”
Fox News also reported that Mathis referred to a family-owned business in a July 2021 interview on Nate Kaeding’s Real Success podcast. “Mark and I are — we own a family business,” Mathis said on the podcast, according to the report.
Liz Mathis responded to The Gazette with a statement, in which she says Mark Mathis sold his ownership in AMPERAGE last year. In her statement, she does repeat the claim that she was an owner also.
“Like many Iowans, my husband ran a small family business; and like many spouses, I experienced the stress and responsibility that comes with it,” she said in the statement.
“As I speak with Iowa small business owners, I can relate to their stories of the ups and downs of business ownership,” she said. “I believe we need to continue to cut the red tape for family businesses to grow and thrive. Although my husband sold his ownership in the business last year, I will take my family’s experience and that same focus to Congress where I’ll continue to fight for Iowa’s family businesses.”
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