Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge says she’s still “sorting through” what she may do once her term is up in January. 

Judge was a state senator for six years, then she served as Iowa’s secretary of agriculture for eight years before being sworn in as Iowa’s lieutenant governor in January of 2007. Judge was Governor Chet Culver’s running mate in 2006 — when the Culver/Judge ticket won — and again this past November when it lost.

“I’ve had a great political career. I’ve loved every moment of it.  I’m not sure that I want to put my name on a ballot again, but I don’t want to retire,” Judge says. “That somehow doesn’t seem like my style either.”

Judge started her professional career as a nurse, then she worked as a mediator during the farm crisis. While she was state ag secretary Judge served on a national panel that examined security issues after the September 11th attacks and during her tenure as lieutenant governor she was the Culver/Judge Administration’s point person on homeland security issues.  At the age of 66, Judge says she’s considering several different career options.

“I’m still sorting through where I want to put my energies,” Judge says.

Judge was the first woman to serve as Iowa’s Secretary of Agriculture. In 2006, she ended her own campaign for governor to become Chet Culver’s running mate. Judge and the three previous lieutenant governors in Iowa have been women. With last month’s election of Republican Kim Reynolds, a fifth woman will serve in the number two spot in the executive branch of state government. 

“I do think it’s important that women are involved and I like to see a woman on the ticket. I don’t think that we always have to have a man governor and a woman lieutenant governor,” Judge says, with a laugh. “I’d like to see us shake that up sometime real soon.”

Back in 1992 when Judge won a seat in the state senate, she says the statehouse wasn’t “particularly friendly atmosphere” for women politicians.

“I think we’ve improved that, over the years, and we’ve still got a ways to go, but I think it’s much, much better,” Judge says. “And I love it every time I see a woman of either political party rising into leadership.”

And Judge says there are “a lot of young women” in Iowa who would “do well” in running for statewide office.

Judge made her comments Tuesday afternoon during an interview with Radio Iowa.