New leader says House Democrats must stop living in 2020, focus on 2022
DES MOINES — The new Iowa House Minority Leader says she’s unwilling to concede any part of the state to Republicans. The 41 Democrats in the Iowa House met last night and elected State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights as their new leader.
“I talked a lot about the importance of learning from 2020, but not living in 2020 and focusing on the 2022 election cycle,” Konfrst said this morning during an online news conference with reporters.
Due to a delay in delivery of U-S Census data, the new maps for legislative districts won’t be developed until August. Konfrst said she’s already recruiting candidates to challenge the Republicans’ current 59-seat House majority in 2022.
“I’m not the type of person who likes to go for second place,” Konfrst said. “I’m fully aware of the demographic challenges…the redistricting challenges, retirements — everything that’s out there, but I am fully committed to doing all we can to get to 51 in 2022. Everyone thinks it’s hard. Everyone thinks it’s impossible. I don’t.”
Konfrst has been a full-time professor at Drake University since 2013, teaching journalism and strategic communications classes. Konfrst is now both spokesperson and lead organizer for Democrats in the Iowa House and Konfrst says she intends to make the Democratic Party’s message as clear as possible.
“I refuse to concede any part of this state and so I’m ready to talk in any corner of Iowa,” Konfrst said. “…Democrats have ideas that Iowans like and appreciate and it’s time for us to tell that story.”
In a written statement after Konfrst’s election last night, House Speaker Pat Grassley said House Republicans represent 97 of Iowa’s 99 counties and are advancing an agenda that matches Iowans’ values.