Linn County Democrats have formally selected a former eastern Iowa T.V. anchorwoman to be the party’s nominee for an open state senate seat.
Liz Mathis was the only Democratic candidate to step forward to run in the district, which includes the city of Marion as well as northern and western portions of Linn County.
“The end game is to win and the strategy is to be effective, to get out and knock on doors, see as many people — not take for granted that people have seen me for 30 years in their homes on television,” Mathis said this evening during an interview with Radio Iowa, “but to make sure that they know what the issues are and they know who I really am — and not the TV persona — and that I’m serious about this.”
Mathis is seeking the seat previously held by State Senator Swati Dandekar. Dandekar resigned so the governor could appoint her to the Iowa Utilities Board. A Mathis win would preserve the Democrat’s 26-to-24 edge over Republicans in the state senate.
Linn County Democrats held a nominating convention this evening to formally name Mathis as the candidate in the district. Mathis told her fellow Democrats education is one of her priority issues.
“My grandmother was a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse, so was my mom. My sister’s a teacher. I was a professor at a college, so I know education and I support education,” said Mathis, who worked at Wartburg in Waverly. “And I told them that our focus would not only be on education, but also on business growth and jobs as well.”
Mathis will face Republican Cindy Golding, a businesswoman from rural Cedar Rapids, in the November 8th special election. Golding won the GOP nomination last week and quickly questioned her opponent’s ability to relate to the rural areas and small towns in the district since Mathis has primarily worked in the cities of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo.
“Cindy Golding doesn’t really know me, I guess, to say something like that,” Mathis said. “I grew up on a farm near Grand Mound, near DeWitt, Iowa. I can drive a 4020 John Deere diesel with dual wheels…and I know hard work. I’ve been working since I was nine or 10 years old.”
Mathis lives in Robbins, a suburb of Cedar Rapids. Mathis was a reporter and anchor at radio and television stations in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids for nearly 30 years. She is currently the chief information officer at a Cedar Rapids-based child welfare agency.