State Senator Mary Lundby — a trailblazer for women in Iowa politics — has announced she’ll leave the legislature next year to run for a seat on the Linn County Board of Supervisors.
"I wanted to blaze a trail for women so that they would run for the legislature and be elected to the legislature and seek the leadership and try to set policy," she says. "That’s a hard thing to leave behind."
Lundby, who is from Marion, was elected to the Iowa House in 1986 and to the Iowa Senate in 1994. She was the first woman to serve as Speaker Pro Tem in the House and the first woman in the Senate to be elected floor leader.
Lundby notified her fellow Republican senators two weeks ago and she expects others to seek the job of Senate Minority Leader that she’s held for just over a year. "I know they’ve had some discussions," she says.
Lundby says her priorities changed after she waged a successful fight with cancer. "I have some ideas about how to make local government work…and I want to be home," Lundby says.
Lundby was diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago and in January of 2006 announced her doctor had given her a clean bill of health.