Petersen elected leader of Senate Democrats

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Janet Petersen

Iowa Senate News Release
For immediate release: October 22, 2017 


Democratic members of the Iowa Senate elected Sen. Janet Petersen of Des Moines today to serve as the new Democratic Leader of the Iowa Senate.

Senator Petersen released this statement:

“I am honored to have the support of my fellow Democratic Senators.”

“Last session, the Republican-controlled Senate passed damaging policies that went after hard-working Iowans and their pocketbooks.  Senate Democrats are focused on helping Iowans get ahead.  It’s time to get our state moving in a direction that reflects real Iowa values.”

“Senate Democrats are united in supporting hard working families, students, seniors and Iowa’s quality of life. We will work to find common ground with Statehouse Republicans, but we will never back down from our commitment to good-paying jobs, having the best education in the nation, revitalizing our small towns and big cities, and enhancing the quality of life for all Iowans.”

Petersen is in her second term in the Iowa Senate after serving six terms in the Iowa House of Representatives. She represents Senate District 18 in northwest Des Moines.

Throughout her tenure, Petersen has served on a variety of committees, most recently as the ranking member on the Commerce Committee, she also serves on the Government Oversight, Judiciary, State Government and Ways & Means committees.

Petersen was born in Beaverdale and has lived in northwest Des Moines most of her life. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Communications and earned a master’s degree in Integrated Communications from Drake University.

In 2008, Petersen founded a nonprofit organization with four other central Iowa women called Healthy Birth Day. The organization, best known for its Count the Kicks campaign, is devoted to preventing stillbirths and improving birth outcomes.

Petersen and her husband, Brian Pattinson, have three children.

The next session of the Iowa General Assembly will convene on Monday, January 8, 2018.