116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Iowa House Democrats on Monday elected state Rep. Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights to be their new caucus leader — making her the first woman to serve in that capacity.
Konfrst, who served as House minority whip during the 2021 legislative session, was selected to fill the top leadership post after Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City announced last month he was stepping down.
Republicans currently hold a 59-41 edge in the Iowa House.
“I’m honored to earn the trust of my colleagues to lead our fight to ensure Iowans’ voices are heard and truly represented in Des Moines,” Konfrst said in a statement. “I love my home state, and I believe the Legislature must do better for all Iowans.
“For too long, Republicans have put the needs of special interests ahead of Iowans' needs. It's time for a change in the Iowa House, and I’m ready to get to work,” added Konfrst, who leads the only majority-female caucus at the State Capitol.
Konfrst, who is serving her second term in the House, is an associate professor in Drake University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and worked for 12 years at Iowa PBS. She also has provided strategic communications counsel to nonprofit, state and corporate organizations during her career. Konfrst and her husband, Lee, have two children who are both in college.
“Rep. Jennifer Konfrst is the right person to continue the fight for Iowa families and small business owners who are struggling to recover from this pandemic. I’m confident that she is the best person to inspire and empower my Democratic House colleagues, as we challenge Republicans to prioritize working families’ needs and stand up for all Iowans,” Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn said in a statement.
House Speaker Pat Grassley, R-New Hartford, congratulated Konfrst, saying he looked forward to working with her.
“With House Republicans now representing 97 out of Iowa's 99 counties, Iowans have made their voices heard loud and clear on the actions they’d like to see from their elected officials. I am hopeful Democrats will join Republicans' efforts to move the state forward and advance an agenda that matches Iowans' values,” he said in a statement.
Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Republican Party of Iowa, issued a statement saying in part that "Iowa Democrats continue to entrench themselves in a college-campus-style of politics they cannot escape” by electing “an urban college professor to lead the helm.”