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Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013

by: desmoinesdem

Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 13:18:54 PM CST


The Iowa legislature's 2013 session opened today. After the jump I've posted details on the Iowa Senate majority and minority leadership teams, along with all chairs, vice chairs, and members of standing Senate committees. Where relevant, I've noted changes since last year. Click here for a similar post on the new Iowa House.

Democrats hold a 26 to 24 majority in the upper chamber. The huge experience gap between the Iowa Senate caucuses is striking. Only seven of the 24 Republicans have served as lawmakers in either the House or Senate for more than four years, whereas 19 of the 26 Democrats have more than four years of legislative service. Click here for details on the tenure of all 50 Iowa senators.

desmoinesdem :: Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2013
Iowa Senate Democratic leadership team

Majority Leader Mike Gronstal was first elected to the Iowa House in 1982 and won his first Senate election in 1984. He was just re-elected in Senate district 8, covering most of Council Bluffs in Pottawattamie County.

Senate President Pam Jochum is the first Democratic woman to hold this position. She was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2008, after serving for 16 years in the Iowa House. She was just re-elected in Senate district 50, covering Dubuque. Bleeding Heartland posted more background on Jochum here; Radio Iowa published a nice profile and interview here. Some things about Iowa politics may be depressing, but Pam Jochum as Senate president ain't one of them.

President Pro Tempore Steve Sodders was first elected to the legislature in 2008 and was just re-elected in Senate district 36, covering Marshall and Tama counties and part of Black Hawk County. During the last legislative session, Jeff Danielson was Senate president pro-tem, and Sodders was one of the assistant majority leaders.

Majority Whip Joe Bolkcom was first elected in 1998 from a district covering most of Iowa City in Johnson County. He holds over until 2014 in the new Senate district 43.

Assistant majority leaders:

Bill Dotzler was first elected in 2002 from a district covering a large area in Waterloo in Black Hawk County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 31, covering a similar area.

Wally Horn was first elected in 1982 from Cedar Rapids in Linn County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 35, covering a large area of Cedar Rapids.

Amanda Ragan was first elected in 2002 from a Senate district covering Floyd and Mitchell counties and part of Cerro Gordo, including Mason City. She is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 27, which still includes Mason City and most of Cerro Gordo but now covers Franklin County and most of Butler County.

Matt McCoy has represented parts of Des Moines in the Iowa Senate since 1997. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 21, covering much of the south side of Des Moines and part of West Des Moines in Polk County.

Iowa Senate Republican leadership team

Bill Dix was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. He had previously served in the Iowa House for 10 years, then run unsuccessfully for Congress. Dix tried but failed to become minority leader in the fall of 2011. Last year Jerry Behn was minority leader, but he agreed to step aside after Republicans failed to win the Senate majority in the 2012 elections. Dix has longstanding ties to the advocacy group Iowans for Tax Relief. Last month, he hired that group's former leader, Ed Failor Jr., to the Senate Republican staff. Dix is up for re-election in 2014 in Iowa Senate district 25.

Minority Whip Rick Bertrand was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. To my knowledge, he is the only Iowa legislator ever to file a defamation lawsuit over a campaign commercial. Bertrand is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 7, covering most of Sioux City. Last year Brad Zaun was minority whip, but he agreed to step aside after the November elections.

Assistant minority leaders:

Joni Ernst was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010, having previously served as Montgomery County auditor. She was just re-elected in 2012 in Senate district 12, covering Montgomery, Mills, Fremont, Page, Taylor, and Ringgold counties. She is one of the two new assistant minority leaders, replacing Merlin Bartz, who lost his re-election bid, and Pat Ward, who died in October 2012.

Randy Feenstra is the other new assistant minority leader. He was first elected in 2008 and just re-elected in Senate district 2, covering Sioux, O'Brien, and Cherokee counties.

David Johnson was first elected in 2002 from a district covering Osceola, Dickinson, Clay and O'Brien Counties, plus part of Sioux. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 1, covering Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Clay and Palo Alto counties.

Tim Kapucian was first elected in 2008 from a district covering Benton and Grundy counties, most of Tama and part of Iowa County. He was just re-elected in Senate district 38, covering all of Benton, Iowa and Poweshiek counties.

Roby Smith was first elected in 2010 from a district centered in Bettendorf and Davenport in Scott County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 47, covering a similar area.

Iowa Senate Standing Commitees

Agriculture

Chair: Joe Seng was first elected in 2002 from a district covering much of Davenport in Scott County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 45, covering a similar area. Many Democrats will be hoping for a credible primary challenger, given Seng's support for bad legislation like the "ag gag" bill, his previous efforts to undermine water quality protections, and his challenge against incumbent Representative Dave Loebsack last year in Iowa's second Congressional district.

Vice Chair: Rich Taylor was just elected to the Senate for the first time in 2012 from Senate district 42, covering Lee and Henry Counties and parts of Jefferson and Washington. Last year Gene Fraise was the vice chair of this committee, but he retired.

Ranking member: Dan Zumbach was just elected for the first time in 2012 from Senate district 48, covering Delaware County and parts of Buchanan, Jones and Linn Counties. He is a farmer with strong support from the Iowa Farm Bureau. Last year David Johnson (see above) was the ranking member of this committee.

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Tod Bowman (D), Daryl Beall (D), Chris Brase (D), Rita Hart (D), Steve Sodders (D), Sandy Greiner (R), Dennis Guth (R), Hubert Houser (R), Tim Kapucian (R)

Appropriations

Chair: Bob Dvorsky was first elected in 1994 and currently represents parts of Johnson and Linn Counties, including Coralville. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 37, covering Coralville and a large area in Johnson County as well as Cedar County. He is married to outgoing Iowa Democratic Party Chair Sue Dvorsky.

Vice Chair: Jeff Danielson was first elected in 2004 and was just re-elected in 2012 in Senate district 30, covering Cedar Falls, part of Waterloo and some rural areas in Black Hawk County. Last year Matt McCoy (see above) was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Jack Whitver was first elected in a 2011 special election. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 19, covering Ankeny and other parts of northern Polk County. Last year Bill Dix, now Senate minority leader, was the ranking member on this committee.

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Joe Bolkcom (D), Tom Courtney (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Jack Hatch (D), Rob Hogg (D), Liz Mathis (D), Matt McCoy (D), Janet Petersen (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Nancy Boettger (R), Joni Ernst (R), Dennis Guth (R), Tim Kapucian (R), Ken Rozenboom (R), Mark Segebart (R), Roby Smith (R)

Commerce

Chair: Matt McCoy (see above).

Vice Chair: Janet Petersen was just elected to the Iowa Senate for the first time in 2012, after serving for 12 years in the Iowa House. She represents Senate district 18, covering parts of northern and eastern Des Moines in Polk County. Last year Tom Rielly was the vice chair of this committee, but he retired.

Ranking member: Bill Anderson was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 3, covering much of Woodbury County (including southern neighborhoods in Sioux City) and most of Plymouth County.

Other members: Daryl Beall (D), Joe Bolkcom (D), Jack Hatch (D), Liz Mathis (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Joe Seng (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Rick Bertrand (R), Mike Breitbach (R), Jake Chapman (R), Charles Schneider (R), Amy Sinclair (R)

Economic Growth

Chair: Steve Sodders (see above)

Vice Chair: Tod Bowman was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 29, covering Jackson County, part of Jones County, and most of Dubuque County outside the city of Dubuque. Last year Bill Dotzler (see above) was the vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Jake Chapman was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 10, covering most of Dallas County, a little bit of Polk and Cass counties, and all of Adair and Guthrie Counties. Last year Sandy Greiner was the ranking member on this committee.

Other members: Jeff Danielson (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Rita Hart (D), Jack Hatch (D), Liz Mathis (D), Rich Taylor (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Jerry Behn (R), Mark Chelgren (R), Hubert Houser (R), Charles Schneider (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Education  

Chair: Herman Quirmbach was first elected in 2002 and is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 23, covering Ames and some rural areas in Story County.

Vice Chair: Brian Schoenjahn was first elected in 2004 and just re-elected in 2012 in Senate district 32, covering Bremer County and parts of Fayette, Buchanan and Black Hawk.

Ranking member: Joni Ernst (see above) Last year Shawn Hamerlinck was the ranking member on this committee, but he lost his re-election bid in Senate district 46 to Chris Brase.

Other members: Tod Bowman (D), Daryl Beall (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Rob Hogg (D), Rita Hart (D), Liz Mathis (D), Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Jerry Behn (R), Nancy Boettger (R), David Johnson (R), Amy Sinclair (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Ethics

This committee has three members from each party in accordance with Iowa law.

Chair: Wally Horn (see above) Last year then Senate President Jack Kibbie co-chaired this committee, but he retired.

Vice Chair: Dick Dearden was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992 and was just re-elected in Senate district 16, covering much of the east side of Des Moines and Pleasant Hill in Polk County.

Ranking member: Sandy Greiner served in the Iowa House from 1993-2000 and from 2003-2008, and spent two years in the Iowa Senate in 2001 and 2002. She came out of political retirement to defeat Democratic State Senator Becky Schmitz in 2010 from the old district 45. She is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 39, covering part of Johnson County, most of Washington County and all of Keokuk County. Greiner is also board president of the American Future Fund, a 501(c)4 organization that has spent heavily in elections in Iowa and around the country. Last year Paul McKinley was the top Republican on this committee, but he retired.

Other members: Joe Seng (D), Jerry Behn (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Government Oversight

Chair: Janet Petersen (see above) Last year Tom Courtney chaired this committee.

Vice Chair: Brian Schoenjahn (see above) Last year Steve Sodders was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Kent Sorenson (see above)

Other members: Matt McCoy (D), Sandy Greiner (R)

Human Resources

Chair: Amanda Ragan (see above)

Vice Chair: Mary Jo Wilhelm was first elected in 2008 and was just re-elected in Senate district 26, covering Worth, Floyd, Chickasaw, Mitchell, and Howard Counties, and parts of Cerro Gordo and Winneshiek.

Ranking member: David Johnson (see above) Last year Jim Seymour was vice chair of this committee, but he retired.

Other members: Joe Bolkcom (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Jack Hatch (D), Pam Jochum (D), Liz Mathis (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Joni Ernst (R), Nancy Boettger (R), Mark Segebart (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Judiciary

Chair: Rob Hogg was first elected in 2006 and is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 33, covering part of Cedar Rapids in Linn County. Last year Gene Fraise chaired this committee, but he retired.

Vice Chair: Tom Courtney was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2000 and was just re-elected in Senate district 44, covering Des Moines and Louisa Counties, plus a large area in Muscatine County. Last year Rob Hogg was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Charles Schneider was just elected to the Iowa Senate for the first in the December 2012 special election to represent district 22, covering several suburbs in Polk and Dallas Counties. Last year Nancy Boettger was ranking member on this committee.

Other members: Bob Dvorsky (D), Wally Horn (D), Janet Petersen (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Steve Sodders (D), Rich Taylor (D), Nancy Boettger (R), Kent Sorenson (R), Jack Whitver (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Labor and Business Relations

Chair: Wally Horn (see above)

Vice Chair: Dick Dearden (see above) Last year Pam Jochum, now Senate president, was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Hubert Houser was first elected in a 2001 special election. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 11, covering most of Pottawattamie County outside Council Bluffs, most of Cass County, and all of Union and Adams counties. Last year Pat Ward was the ranking member on this committee, but she passed away in October 2012.

Other members: Chris Brase (D), Joe Seng (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Steve Sodders (D), Jack Hatch (D), Bill Anderson (R), Jake Chapman (R), Bill Dix (R)

Local Government

Chair: Mary Jo Wilhelm (see above)

Vice Chair: Chris Brase was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 46, covering parts of Muscatine and Scott Counties. Last year Daryl Beall was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Amy Sinclair was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 14, covering all of Wayne, Lucas, Clarke, and Decatur Counties, most of Marion County, and a small area in Jasper County. Last year Merlin Bartz was the ranking member on this committee, but Wilhelm defeated him in Senate district 26.

Other members: Bob Dvorsky (D), Rita Hart (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Rich Taylor (D), Mark Chelgren (R), Dennis Guth (R), Brad Zaun (R)

Natural Resources and Environment

Chair: Dick Dearden was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 1992 and was just re-elected in Senate district 16, covering much of the east side of Des Moines and Pleasant Hill in Polk County.

Vice Chair: Dennis Black has served in the Senate since 1995 and now represents most of Jasper County and part of southeast Polk County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 15, also covering most of Jasper and a large area in eastern Polk County.

Ranking member: Sandy Greiner (see above) Last year Jim Hahn was the ranking member on this committee, but he lost the GOP primary to Shawn Hamerlinck in Senate district 46.

Other members: Joe Bolkcom (D), Chris Brase (D), Rob Hogg (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Brian Schoenjahn (D), Joe Seng (D), Mike Breitbach (R), David Johnson (R), Ken Rozenboom (R), Dan Zumbach (R)

Rules and Administration

Chair: Mike Gronstal (see above)

Vice Chair: Pam Jochum (see above) Last year then Senate President Jack Kibbie was vice chair of this committee, but he retired.

Ranking member: Bill Dix (see above) Last year then Senate Minority Leader Jerry Behn was ranking member on this committee.

Other members: Tom Courtney (D), Dick Dearden (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Steve Sodders (D), Rick Bertrand (R), Joni Ernst (R), Ken Rozenboom (R)

State Government  

Chair: Jeff Danielson (see above)

Vice Chair: Pam Jochum (see above)

Ranking member: Kent Sorenson was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2010. He is up for re-election 2014 in Senate district 13, covering most of Warren and Madison counties.

Other members: Dick Dearden (D), Tod Bowman (D), Tom Courtney (D), Janet Petersen (D), Wally Horn (D), Matt McCoy (D), Steve Sodders (D), Bill Anderson (R), Jake Chapman (R), Randy Feenstra (R), Roby Smith (R), Jack Whitver (R)

Transportation

Chair: Tod Bowman was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 29, covering Jackson, most of Dubuque County (but not the city of Dubuque) and a large area in Jones County. Last year Tom Rielly chaired this committee, but he retired.

Vice Chair: Daryl Beall was first elected in 2002 from the old district 25, covering most of Webster County, including Fort Dodge, Greene and Calhoun Counties. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 5, covering Humboldt, Pocahontas and Calhoun counties and most of Webster County, including Fort Dodge. Last year Bowman was vice chair of this committee.

Ranking member: Tim Kapucian (see above)

Other members: Chris Brase (D), Jeff Danielson (D), Dick Dearden (D), Bob Dvorsky (D), Tom Hancock (D), Matt McCoy (D), Rich Taylor (D), Jerry Behn (R), Mike Breitbach (R), Randy Feenstra (R), Dan Zumbach (R)

Ways & Means

Chair: Joe Bolkcom (see above)

Vice Chair: Joe Seng (see above)

Ranking member: Randy Feenstra (see above)

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Bill Dotzler (D), Rob Hogg (D), Pam Jochum (D), Janet Petersen (D), Matt McCoy (D), Herman Quirmbach (D), Jerry Behn (R), Rick Bertrand (R), Jake Chapman (R), Charles Schneider (R), Roby Smith (R)

Veterans Affairs

Chair: Daryl Beall (see above)

Vice Chair: Jeff Danielson (see above)

Ranking member: Ken Rozenboom was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 40, covering Mahaska, Monroe, and Appanoose Counties, and parts of Marion and Wapello Counties. Last year James Seymour was the ranking member on this committee, but he retired.

Other members: Dennis Black (D), Wally Horn (D), Rita Hart (D), Amanda Ragan (D), Steve Sodders (D), Mark Chelgren (R), Joni Ernst (R), Charles Schneider (R)

Budget Subcommittees

Administration and Regulation

Chair: Liz Mathis was first elected in a 2011 special election and was just re-elected in Senate district 34, covering surburban areas in Linn County. Last year Pam Jochum chaired this subcommittee.

Vice Chair: Jeff Danielson (see above)

Ranking member: Dennis Guth was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 4, covering Emmet, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, and Wright Counties. Last year Merlin Bartz was ranking member on this subcommittee, but he lost his re-election bid.

Other members: Chris Brase (D), Joni Ernst (R)

Agriculture/Natural Resources

Chair: Dennis Black (see above)

Vice Chair: Dick Dearden (see above)

Ranking member: Ken Rozenboom (see above) Last year Hubert Houser was the ranking member on this subcommittee.

Other members: Mary Jo Wilhelm (D), Sandy Greiner (R)

Economic Development

Chair: Bill Dotzler (see above)

Vice Chair: Rita Hart was just elected for the first time in 2012 in Senate district 49, covering all of Clinton County and part of Scott County. Last year Joe Seng was the vice chair on this subcommittee.

Ranking member: Nancy Boettger was first elected to the Senate in 1994 and is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 9, covering all of Shelby, Harrison, Monona, and Ida Counties, and part of Crawford and Woodbury Counties.

Other members: Joe Seng (D), Charles Schneider (R)

Education

Chair: Brian Schoenjahn (see above)

Vice Chair: Wally Horn (see above) Last year Herman Quirmbach was vice chair of this subcommittee.

Ranking member: Roby Smith (see above) Last year Bill Dix was the ranking member on this subcommittee.

Other members: Herman Quirmbach (D), Amy Sinclair (R)

Health and Human Services

Chair: Jack Hatch was first elected in 2002 from district 33, covering much of central Des Moines in Polk County. He is up for re-election in 2014 in Senate district 17, covering a similar area.

Vice Chair: Amanda Ragan (see above)

Ranking member: Mark Segebart was first elected in 2012 in Senate district 6, covering Buena Vista, Sac, Carroll, and Audubon Counties, and part of Crawford County. Last year David Johnson was the ranking member on this subcommittee.

Other members: Joe Bolkcom (D), David Johnson (R)

Justice Systems

Chair: Tom Courtney was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2000. He was just re-elected in Senate district 44, covering Des Moines and Louisa Counties, plus a large area in Muscatine County. Last year Tom Hancock chaired this subcommittee, but he retired.

Vice Chair: Rob Hogg (see above)

Ranking member: Jake Chapman (see above) Last year James Seymour was ranking member on this subcommittee, but he retired.

Other members: Rich Taylor (D), Brad Zaun (R)

Transportation, Infrastructure, and Capitals

Chair: Matt McCoy (see above)

Vice Chair: Daryl Beall (see above)

Ranking member: Tim Kapucian (see above)

Other members: Tod Bowman (D), Rick Bertrand (R)

Administrative Rules Review Committee

Five Iowa House and five Iowa Senate members serve on this committee. The Senate's five representatives on this committee are Tom Courtney (D), Pam Jochum (D), Wally Horn (D), Roby Smith (R), and Mark Chelgren (R). This year's House members are listed at the end of this post.  

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