One of the female pioneers in Iowa politics is leaving her statehouse post. Representative Minnette Doderer, a democrat from Iowa City, has served 34 years in the Iowa legislature and will not seek re-election. Doderer says the legislature was a “boys club” when she arrived. She says women are now included and have to hold their own to work for leadership positions and higher officer. Doderer says women won’t have things handed to them and will have to go after them.Doderer, who’s 76 years old, was a key architect of a state Equal Rights Amendment, pay equity for female state workers, and an end to abuses in the Women’s State Prison in Mitchellville. She says the legislature is a better place today than when she arrived because of all the legislators who have made it a better place. Yesterday, Doderer delivered her farewell speech to legislators. She says she doesn’t know if they’ll miss her, but she’ll miss them.A few other legislators are hanging it up after this session, and not seeking re-election. Among them is Representative Gary Blodgett of Clear Lake, who summed up the legislative experience this way.Representative James Drees of Manning said he loved being in the legislature, but he hated the campaigning. He fell and broke his thigh while campaigning.Drees was struck by lightning once, and survived, so he considers himself a bit lucky in life. He also survived the explosion of a farm tractor.
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