A Cedar Falls man who’s retiring from the Legislature is jokingly being called “Mr. Mom” by his senate colleagues. Don Redfern is a lawyer; he ran for Congress once and he is retiring after an 11 year career in the Iowa Senate. Redfern was a bachelor until just a few years ago when he married Lorelei Heisinger, a statehouse lobbyist. Redfern says he “has many fond memories of the Iowa Senate” but none that he treasurers more than meeting his wife there. At the age of 58, Redfern is now the father of two young kids — a two-and-a-half year old son named Benson and an eight-month-old boy named Harrison. He says they’re “get up and go, and really high energy.” While Redfern will return to his law practice in Cedar Falls — where he works with his 85-year-old dad, he intends to handle more parenting duties next January when the Legislature starts up again and his wife works as a lobbyist. Redfern laughs when confronted with the “Mr. Mom” label. Redfern says he’ll shift his “busy time of the year” so he can handle more child care while the legislature is in session. Redfern and his wife took the kids on the Senate floor last week to take some pictures. Redfern says “someday they can show their grandchildren where they were and what they were doing at that age with their parents in the Iowa Legislature.” Redfern’s been a key player in the recent behind-the-scenes negotions on a gambling deal. Redfern says he’s enjoyed the frenetic pace of his final days in the legislature.Redfern says he knows now that whenever the Legislature finishes its work, he’s ready to move on. Redfern acknowleges being a lawyer and a legislator is a double whammy. Redfern says he’s never been sure whether being a politician or a lawyer is worse, based on the kinds of jokes that are told.
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