Iowa Senate Democrats elect Wahls as new leader

    State Sen. Zach Wahls is a Democrat from Coralville. (Photo courtesy of Iowa Senate)

    State Sen. Zach Wahls of Coralville was elected Sunday as the new Iowa Senate Democratic leader.

    Wahls replaces Sen. Janet Petersen of Des Moines, who announced last week she would not seek re-election. Democrats made no gains in the Iowa Senate in the Nov. 3 election and Republicans kept their 32-18 majority.

    “Senate Democrats will be focused on defeating the coronavirus with decisive action supporting essential workers, protecting Iowa families, and assisting small businesses,” Wahls said in a news release. “The impact of this pandemic on Iowa’s economy, public health, and especially our senior citizens, cannot be overstated. We must get our state back on a path to complete economic recovery.”

    Wahls was elected in 2018 to serve Senate District 37, including Coralville, western Iowa City and Solon in Johnson County; all of Cedar County; and Wilton in Muscatine County.

    He works as a vice president at GreenState Credit Union. Wahls and his fiancée, Chloe Angyal, live in Coralville.

    Other Senate Democratic leaders elected were Amanda Ragan of Mason City as Democratic whip and five assistant leaders:

    • Nate Boulton of Des Moines,
    • Bill Dotzler of Waterloo
    • Pam Jochum of Dubuque
    • Herman Quirmbach of Ames
    • Jackie Smith of Sioux City
    Kathie Obradovich
    Editor Kathie Obradovich has been covering Iowa government and politics for more than 30 years, most recently as political columnist and opinion editor for the Des Moines Register. She previously covered the Iowa Statehouse for 10 years for newspapers in Davenport, Waterloo, Sioux City, Mason City and Muscatine. She is a leading voice on Iowa politics and makes regular appearances on state, national and international news programs. She has led national-award-winning coverage of the Iowa Caucuses and the Register’s Iowa Poll.