IOWA CITY, Iowa — A 26-year-old from Iowa City is making history after winning the Democratic nomination for Senate District 37.
Zach Wahls is the first nominee for the Iowa Senate to have same-sex parents. While he may not be the youngest to be nominated for the position, he is paving the way for others like him.
“I hope it is a turning point. I think there are a lot of people here in our state who are ready for new blood in the Iowa legislature. We are ready for that next generation of leadership, and I think the Democratic party saw a lot of candidates under forty,” Wahls said.
Like your average 26-year-old, Wahls can be found relaxing at a local hang out spot. If elected, though, Wahls says come November it will be all work and no play.
“I think a top priority has to be fully funding our schools, stopping cuts to higher education, and hopefully reversing Medicaid privatization. That should be on the agenda day one,” he said.
Like other Democrats, Wahls supports raising Iowa’s minimum wage and protecting marriage equality.
“We are coming up on the Obergefell decision, which recognizes marriage equality nationwide. That was a huge deal for families like mine. We need to make sure there is no back sliding there,” Wahls said.
In 2011, Wahls took to the Iowa House of Representatives to defend his two mothers as legislators pushed to ban same-sex marriage. This time, he hopes to to to the Statehouse as one of Iowa’s youngest senators.
Wahls’ competition in this race is Carl Krambeck, a Libertarian. Republicans did not have a candidate, so that nomination could go to convention. A former Boy Scout, Wahls is an LGBTQ activist and leads a campaign called Scouts for Equality, to allow gay and transgender children to join the Boy Scouts.