WASHINGTON — The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee has unveiled its second round of Spotlight candidates in Iowa, where Democrats only need to flip four House seats to gain the majority. Iowa is a top DLCC target state this year, and after winning five House seats in 2018 and coming within just over 500 votes of flipping the chamber, Democrats are poised to flip the House from red to blue this November for the first time in over a decade and make gains in the Senate.
“Iowa is a top battleground from the presidential race down to state legislative elections this year, and Democrats are on total offense,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee President Jessica Post. “Republicans are retiring from the Iowa legislature in droves because they’re afraid to face the repercussions of their failed leadership at the ballot box. Our Democratic candidates will put their constituents first in Des Moines and work towards a better future for Iowans.”
Last year, Iowa’s longest-serving GOP legislator switched parties in response to the damage Donald Trump has done to the country, and this year, several Republican state lawmakers announced their retirements — including the House majority leader. Between that, record-breaking primary voter turnout, and Democrats running more candidates than Republicans, Democrats are well-suited to make big gains in November.
This incredible slate of 12 Spotlight candidates will help achieve that goal:
- Charles Clayton (HD-09), the founder of a student mentorship nonprofit and an active community member dedicated to helping kids find success.
- Jen Pellant (HD-16), a hardworking activist who is committed to fully funding public schools, protecting workers’ rights, and reversing Medicaid privatization.
- Andrea Phillips (HD-37), a first-generation college graduate and a marketing professional who launched corporate social responsibility programs in her community.
- Kayla Koether (HD-55), who was raised on a fifth-generation family farm, has been a leader in the agriculture community, and came within nine votes of winning this seat in 2018.
- Representative Dave Williams (HD-60), the Iowa House’s only engineer running for a second term so he can continue to fix the economy, protect the environment, and fight for everyday Iowans.
- Phil Miller (HD-82), who, after winning a special election in 2017 and then coming within 37 votes of being reelected in 2018, is back to fight for public education funding, affordable health care, and an economy that works for all Iowans.
- Kelcey Brackett (HD-91), an Iowa native who started his own IT company, actively volunteers in his community, and serves on the Muscatine City Council.
- Jennifer Kakert (HD-92), a local small business owner and nonprofit board member who is committed to fighting for improved public education funding, stronger local economies, and affordable health care.
- Representative Phyllis Thede (HD-93), the former president of her union and a longtime advocate on behalf of workers, students, and marginalized communities.
- Steve Gorman (SD-08), who has spent his career as a public servant and frontline firefighter and is a proud member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 15.
- Sarah Trone Garriott (SD-22), a Lutheran minister whose life of public service has informed her passion for public education, quality and affordable health care, and civil rights.
- Tom Courtney (SD-44), an Air Force veteran, United Auto Workers union member, and community leader who served his district in the Senate for three terms before a narrow loss in 2018 and is back to reclaim his seat.
Iowa is a top target state in the DLCC’s $50 million “Flip Everything” campaign to win legislative majorities across the country. Since Trump’s election, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped more than 450 seats and 10 legislative chambers from red to blue.