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Out-going House Democratic leader ‘stepping down, but not stepping back’

CHARLES CITY — The outgoing leader of Democrats in the Iowa House says he isn’t backing away from politics and is likely to run for re-election in 2022. Representative Todd Prichard of Charles City has been House Minority Leader for three years and House Democrats meet Monday to select his successor.

“I’m stepping down but not stepping back in any measure. I’ve got a lot of fight left in me and I’m going to continue to find ways to serve,” Prichard said this morning. “…I care too much about my home state.”

Prichard will serve out the remainder of his current term and, at this point, is planning on seeking reelection to the House. Prichard isn’t ruling out a run for another office, but has made no moves in that direction. Prichard briefly ran for governor in 2017.

“I’ve been down that road years ago…but I was asked this question a few months ago (and) you don’t rule things out,” Prichard said. “…I view myself as a public servant and try to offer or work in ways that I can be most useful.”

Prichard said it’s time for the state to tackle big issues, like water quality, and address the core issues that are driving an increase in gun violence in places like his hometown of Davenport. Prichard issued a written statement last week to announce he was stepping aside as a House floor leader. Today, during an online news conference organized by the Iowa Capitol Press Association, Prichard answered questions about his decision.

“After three years and trying to juggle a career in the Army Reserve and my small businesses and my commitment to my family, it’s time to kind of step back and…take my professional life out of overdrive so I can focus on a few other things,” he said.

Forty-one Democrats are serving in the Iowa House and Prichard says there are “good leaders” among them who can “carry (House Democrats) forward,” but he’s not publicly endorsing a successor.

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