The Des Moines Register is reporting former Iowa Lieutenant Governor JoAnn McIntosh Zimmerman has died at the age of 82.
Zimmerman was the first woman to be elected on her own as Iowa’s lieutenant governor. She was also the last to run and win independently in 1986. The state’s constitution was changed for the 1990 election, so party nominees for governor and lieutenant governor started running together as a team like the president and vice president do. The lieutenant governor’s previous duties in the Iowa Senate were also eliminated by the constitutional change.
Zimmerman, a Democrat from Waukee, ran for governor in 1990. She dropped out of the race before the primary and was Don Avenson’s running mate for the General Election in what was dubbed the “A-to-Z” ticket. Two years later, Zimmerman co-founded DAWN — the Democratic Activist Women’s Network — to support other candidates.
Zimmerman was a registered nurse and held several administrative positions at Broadlawns Hospital in Des Moines. Zimmerman had served on the Waukee School Board and served three terms in the Iowa House before her election to one term as lieutenant governor in 1986.
Zimmerman and her husband were the parents of five children and two foster daughters. In 2005, she was inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame.