Iowa Rep. Jennifer Konfrst seeking House minority leader position

Top Democrats in the Iowa House of Representatives say they were disappointed in the 2021 legislative session and said their job in the months ahead is to show Iowans that Republican lawmakers are extremists who don’t deserve their support. (Photo by Katie Akin/Iowa Capital Dispatch)

House Democrats say Windsor Heights Rep. Jennifer Konfrst will run to replace Rep. Todd Prichard as the House minority leader.

State Rep. Jennifer Konfrst is a Windsor Heights Democrat. (Photo courtesy of the Iowa Legislature)

Rep. Marti Anderson and Rep. Jo Oldson, both Democrats from Des Moines, said Konfrst had called them about her plan to run for House minority leader. Prichard, D-Charles City, announced Wednesday that he would be stepping down from the role.

“I think she brings a good, fresh perspective and a lot of understanding of the process, both policy and political,” said Oldson, who plans to support Konfrst for the position.

Konfrst, a public relations professor at Drake University, was first elected to the House in 2018. She served as an assistant minority leader in 2019 and 2020 before advancing to become the minority whip in 2021. Through the 2021 session, Konfrst was vocal as a Democratic leader, speaking alongside Prichard at weekly press conferences.

Konfrst declined to comment on the record about internal caucus affairs.

Anderson said the role of the minority leader is to keep the caucus motivated, even though it can be “really easy to get discouraged.”

“The minority leader has to keep you moving, has to keep people voting, people coming into the Capitol, people going to caucus,” she said. “Todd’s done a great job of that. I’m sure our next leader will have the same success.”

House Democrats will hold an election on June 14 to choose the next leader.