Ames School Board member Jamet Colton and Ames City Council member Amber Corrieri confirmed on June 17 that they will seek the Democratic nomination for Iowa House district 46, where longtime State Representative Lisa Heddens is stepping down to serve as a Story County supervisor. I enclose below statements with background on both candidates.
Delegates in the precincts that make up House district 46 will select the nominee at a district convention, to be scheduled soon after Governor Kim Reynolds sets a date for the special House election. Although I have not seen any formal announcement from Ames School Board member Lewis Rosser, many Story County sources expect him to compete for the nomination. Dr. Jay Brown, an allergist with the McFarland Clinic, is also considering the race, he told Bleeding Heartland over the weekend.
The Democratic nominee will almost certainly win the special election later this summer, given that the strongest potential Republican candidate, Ames City Council member Tim Gartin, says he is not running. Some locals had speculated that Gartin had a chance to flip the seat, with the election taking place before most Iowa State University students return for the fall semester. I haven't heard of any announced GOP candidate for this race. Even without the large student population in town, winning this district would be a longshot for a Republican. Residents of House district 46 gave 57.2 percent of the 2016 presidential vote to Hillary Clinton and 65.3 percent of the vote for governor last year to Fred Hubbell.
Regardless of who serves out the remainder of Heddens' term, which runs through 2020, Democrats may well have a contested primary in House district 46 next June. It's easy to qualify for the primary ballot in Iowa by collecting 50 signatures on nominating petitions.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that if elected, Colton would be the first Latinx to serve in the Iowa legislature.
June 17 news release:
Jamet Colton of Ames, Iowa, seeks the Democratic Nomination for the Iowa State Legislature House District 46, soon to be vacated by Lisa Heddens. Jamet is currently a member of the Ames Community School District Board of Directors.
Jamet, was born and raised in Santiago, Chile and has made Ames her home since 2000 with her husband Chase and son Tiago. On February 12, 2014 she celebrated becoming a U.S. Citizen. Currently she works as a Spanish language interpreter at Primary Health Care, a non-profit community health center dedicated to serving individuals who experience barriers to receiving care.
She was honored to receive the 2017 Ames Humanitarian Award for her work to build bridges in the community and promote diversity, inclusion and equity. Inspired to take her community service and activism to the next level, Jamet was elected to the Ames School Board in the Fall of 2017, where she continues her work to help every child, parent and teacher in the district have a voice.
Jamet is also honored to serve on the Ames Pride Board and the Ames Education Foundation Board.
Jamet is eager to represent District 46 because “the Ames community has welcomed and supported me. I welcome the opportunity to serve them and make their voices heard at the capital.”
June 17 news release:
Corrieri to Seek Democratic Nomination for HD46
At-large Ames city councilwoman Amber Corrieri has announced her intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Iowa House District 46. First elected to the city council in 2013, Corrieri brings a background in human services, housing, finance, and local government.
“I have a proven record of community service and leadership,” said Corrieri. “I’m running because I want to bring that experience to the state level and work to make meaningful progress on the issues that matter most to the people of Ames and Iowa.”
Corrieri added, “In my roles with Mainstream Living and the Ames City Council, I am asked to solve problems and make decisions that have a lasting impact on people and the community. Ames deserves a leader who is prepared to serve and it would be a great privilege to continue to represent Ames, but in a different capacity.”
During her service on council, Corrieri has been an advocate for affordable housing and human services. She proposed the idea of a local housing trust fund during her 2013 campaign and worked with A Mid Organizing Strategy (AMOS) and other local leaders to establish the Story County Housing Trust Fund, and is currently serving on its Board of Directors. Corrieri has also helped lead efforts to build an all-inclusive playground and Miracle Field. She notes that, “Initiatives like the housing trust fund and the Miracle Park are examples of ways in which I have worked to champion partnerships for the benefit of the greater community. I have always had open ears to listen to the needs of constituents and am ready and eager to help bring real solutions.”
If nominated and elected to the House, Corrieri plans to focus on mental health accessibility, housing, workforce and education, climate change, and policies that ensure that the Medicaid system is sustainable for the most vulnerable residents. “The state legislature must work to improve the quality of life for all people. I take seriously my responsibility to listen and learn from the community and I’m ready to take their voices to Des Moines.”
Amber Corrieri, 38, was elected to the Ames City Council in 2013. She is the Director of Corporate Compliance and Communications at Mainstream Living, one of the largest providers of disability and mental health services in the state. Corrieri is a current board member for the Ames Economic Development Commission and the Ames Education Foundation. She serves as Chair of the Story County Housing Trust Fund and Iowa Alliance for Boys and Girls Clubs. In 2011, Corrieri was awarded the 4 under 40 award from the Ames Chamber of Commerce and was the 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Young Iowan award from the Iowa Jaycees. Corrieri has lived in Ames for 20 years with her husband Damien who is the Assistant Director of Coaching for the Ames Soccer Club.
They have two children in the Ames School District, Jordan (16) and Isabella (13).
Top image: Jamet Colton on the left, Amber Corrieri on the right.