Deidre DeJear has narrowly won the Democratic Party’s nomination for secretary of state. Her opponent, Jim Mowrer, called DeJear overnight to concede the race.
“This was a nail-biter and all day the suspense was killing us,” DeJear said early Wednesday morning. “I’m really just excited about the voters.”
DeJear is a small business owner from Des Moines who worked on the 2012 Obama presidential campaign. DeJear is running, now, to unseat Republican Paul Pate, the current secretary of state who is the chief elections officer in the state.
“In every race that I’ve been a part of, my job has been to go find voters, to connect with voters. This race will be no different,” DeJear told Radio Iowa. “I want to be a champion for people’s voices. I want to be a champion for their vote and I know that we can make that happen through the secretary of state’s office.”
DeJear is the first African American nominated for statewide office on the General Election by primary voters. Almo Hawkins, the 1998 Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, was the first African American nominated for statewide office, but she was selected by GOP convention delegates after Jim Ross Lightfoot, the Republican nominee for governor in 1998, announced he wanted Hawkins as his running mate.