Hart captures Iowa Democratic Party chair

Rita Hart.
Rita Hart.(Courtesy Photo)
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 3:26 PM CST
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DES MOINES, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Democratic Party has selected a new leader in a vote on Saturday, looking to move forward in a state where the party has seen a widely-diminished presence in the last several years.

Rita Hart, a former Iowa state senator from District 49, was selected by the majority of voting party committee members. She received 34 votes, ahead of political strategist Brittany Ruland’s 14 votes, and former state representative and U.S. Senate primary candidate Bob Krause’s one vote.

Hart was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2012 and served through January 2019. She was businessman Fred Hubbell’s running-mate on the Democratic Party’s ticket to challenge Gov. Kim Reynolds in the 2018 election. Hart also ran for Iowa’s Second Congressional District seat in 2020, losing to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks by six votes.

Former Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn decided to not seek reelection to the position after national Democrats decided to remove Iowa from its traditional first-in-the-nation caucus status. Democratic candidates in the state had also seen significant losses in the 2022 general election before Wilburn’s decision.