DES MOINES, Iowa - State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights is the new Democratic leader in the Iowa House of Representatives.
She was elected Monday evening by 41 Hose Democrats to take over for Representative Todd Prichard of Charles City, who stepped down as House Minority Leader early this month. Konfrst served as House Minority Whip during the 2021 Legislative Session.
She is the first woman elected to lead the Iowa House Democrats, which is majority female in its present form. Konfrst was first elected in 2018 and is now in her second term.
“I’m honored to earn the trust of my colleagues to lead our fight to ensure Iowans’ voices are heard and truly represented in Des Moines,” Konfrst said in a statement. “I love my home state, and I believe the legislature must do better for all Iowans. For too long, Republicans have put the needs of special interests ahead of Iowans’ needs. It’s time for a change in the Iowa House, and I’m ready to get to work.”
Republican House Speaker Pat Grassley released a statement congratulating Konfrst.
“I look forward to working with her in her new role,” Grassley said. “With House Republicans now representing 97 out of Iowa’s 99 counties, Iowans have made their voices heard loud and clear on the actions they’d like to see from their elected officials. I am hopeful Democrats will join Republicans’ efforts to move the state forward and advance an agenda that matches Iowans’ values.”
Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn also released a statement congratulating Konfrst.
“Rep. Jennifer Konfrst is the right person to continue the fight for Iowa families and small business owners who are struggling to recover from this pandemic. I’m confident that she is the best person to inspire and empower my Democratic House colleagues, as we challenge Republicans to prioritize working families’ needs and stand up for all Iowans."
Konfrst is an associate professor in Drake University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and previously worked 12 years at Iowa PBS.
The 2022 Legislative Session starts on Monday, January 10.
(Image from Iowa House Democrats)