There was a very public proposal made in the Iowa House early this afternoon — a proposal of marriage.
Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, gave the first hint of what was to come.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the House, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, but I’ve never been involved in anything like this, so bear with me if you would, please,” Baudler began.
Baudler next mentioned his 19-year-old secretary, Jennifer Erstad of Exira.”One year and two months ago, I sent this young lady to get my mail out across the (capitol) rotunda and she (came) back muttering something about a Ryan, so one year ago today, Ryan — number 47 on the state patrol that guards us here — and Jennifer had their first date,” Baudler explained. “And depending on what happens in the next few moments, I might have an announcement.”
People in the House chamber — legislators and the other secretaries — laughed at that, then watched as Ryan Bergmann, a 23-year-old trooper who was dressed in street clothes for the occasion — got down on one knee.
“Jennifer Danielle Erstad, this 12th rose shows what I love most about you — you,” Bergmann said, clutching a rose. “Jennifer Danielle Erstad, will you marry me?”
She burst into tears. Nearly everyone else in the House burst into applause. Baudler interpreted. “I think, ladies and gentlemen, that’s a yes,” Baudler said.
Bergmann has been a trooper assigned to provide security at the statehouse. He was off duty today, armed with that red rose — and a diamond engagement ring, too.