Petersen will not seek re-election as state Senate Democratic leader

    Senate Minority Leader Janet Petersen is a Des Moines Democrat.

    State Sen. Janet Petersen announced Wednesday she is stepping down from her role as minority leader for the Democrats in the Iowa Senate.

    Petersen, of Des Moines, will not seek reelection to the position, which is chosen by her fellow Democratic senators.

    “It was an incredible experience serving as Iowa’s first female Iowa Senate Democratic Leader,” Petersen said in a news release.  “I am grateful to my caucus for electing me to the role and for asking me to continue on, but as C. Joy Bell once said, ‘Holding on to something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better.’”

    Petersen was re-elected to her District 18 seat in northwest Des Moines. Democrats were not considered likely to regain the majority in the Senate this year; Republicans retained their 32-18 majority.

    “Election night was rough for Iowa Democrats. Fortunately, Senate Democrats weathered a bad year without losing any ground,” Petersen said. “The Iowa Statehouse may be dominated by Trump loyalists for now, but I don’t see Iowans putting up with that type of leadership for much longer.”

    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.