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Zach Wahls, Sarah Trone Garriott elected to lead Iowa Senate Democrats
Democrats pledge to push back against GOP supermajority in the Senate
Caleb McCullough - Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau
Nov. 18, 2022 5:36 pm
Iowa Senate Democrats re-elected Sen. Zach Wahls to serve as Senate minority leader and elected Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott to serve as minority whip for the upcoming legislative session.
“I’m honored by the trust my fellow Democrats have placed in me as we fight for middle-class families,” Wahls said in a news release.
Wahls, of Coralville, was first elected to the Senate in 2018 and named the chamber’s Democratic leader in 2020. He is a vice president at GreenState Credit Union.
Trone Garriott, of West Des Moines, was first elected in 2020 and was elected again this year after redistricting, defeating Republican Senate President Jake Chapman. She is a Lutheran minister and coordinator of interfaith engagement for the Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry Network.
Trone Garriott is succeeding Amanda Ragan, of Mason City, as minority whip, who retired this year after 20 years in the Iowa Senate.
“Iowa voters did not give Republicans a mandate to sell out the middle class, wreck public schools and strip away basic rights,” Trone Garriott said in the news release. “Senate Democrats will stand up to Republican overreach and give Iowa families a voice in our government.”
The caucus elected Nate Boulton, Des Moines; Eric Giddens, Cedar Falls; Pam Jochum, Dubuque; and Herman Quirmbach, Ames, to serve as assistant leaders.
House Democrats re-elected Jennifer Konfrst, of Windsor Heights, to serve as minority leader and Lindsay James, of Dubuque, to serve as minority whip in the House last weekend.
Democrats lost seats in both chambers of the Legislature after November’s election. They are slated to hold 16 seats in the Senate, while Republicans will hold 34. With two-thirds of the chamber, Republicans will be able to prevent Democrats from blocking gubernatorial appointees that require a two-thirds majority.
Wahls said in the release Senate Democrats will continue to defend “economic opportunity and fundamental rights.”
“Republican politicians, meanwhile, are offering the same old extreme and unfair agenda rewarding big corporations over middle class families and attacking Iowans’ personal freedom,” he said.
Republicans elected their leadership last week shortly following the midterm election. Jack Whitver, of Grimes, was reelected as Senate majority leader, while Amy Sinclair, of Allerton, was elected Senate president, succeeding Chapman.