States & Candidates

States can change the direction of our country.

Iowa 2020


Flip House

Chamber Makeup

State Senate

18 Democrats

32 Republicans

State House

47 Democrats

53 Republicans

Opportunity Assessment

Prior to the 2006 election, Iowa had one of the most evenly divided state legislatures in the country. Today, Iowa is a Republican trifecta. But in 2018, Democrats nearly took back the House, signaling a clear path to flipping one or both chambers of the legislature.

The Stakes

The current majority has governed with one constituency in mind: itself. Efforts to ensure all Iowans have a fair chance at work, at home, and at school take a back seat to Republican power grabs.

  • Blocked 29 absentee ballots from being counted in a State House race that was “won” by a nine vote margin—and proposed a bill that would make it harder for absentee ballots to be counted in the future.
  • Worked to eliminate early voting locations on state universities.
  • Thwarted efforts to guarantee clean drinking water for all Iowans.
  • Worked to undermine efforts to advance equal pay for equal work.

2020 Political Landscape

  • In 2020, the entire State House and half of the State Senate are up for election.  Democrats need to flip three of 53 Republican seats in the House or seven of the 19 Republican seats up for election in the Senate to break GOP control of the state.
  • While Iowa trended toward Republicans in 2016, Democrats bounced back in 2018 and are poised to target the state with national resources again in 2020.
  • In 2018:
    • Democrats came close to winning back the State House; 300 votes across four seats would have broken the Republican majority (and a subsequent party switch would have then delivered them an outright majority in the chamber).  
    • Democrats won a number of statewide races, including Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, who carried 24 Republican-held State House seats and 13 State Senate seats that will be up in 2020.
    • Democrats held their ground in the State Senate—the cohort of seats up in 2018 had far fewer opportunities for growth than the cycle coming up.  Also, these state senators have not had to face a post-Trump electorate so there is plenty of meat on the bone here.

Meet the candidates

  • Charles Clayton

    The founder of a nonprofit serving young people in his community, Charles is running for the State House to advocate for investing in children and equal opportunity for all. 

  • Jen Pellant

    A businesswoman and community leader, Jen is running to advocate for quality schools, good jobs, and voting rights for all Iowans.

  • Andrea Phillips
    Andrea Phillips

    Raised by a repairman and a bank teller, Andrea learned early that there is no substitute for hard work. She is running to advocate for working families by ensuring all Iowans have access to strong public education and affordable, accessible healthcare.

  • Kayla Koether
    Kayla Koether

    Kayla learned the value of hard work and independence growing up on a fifth-generation farm in Iowa. Today, Kayla helps beginning farmers succeed and is running to bring the voices and needs of her community to Des Moines.

  • Eric Gjerde
    Eric Gjerde

    The son of a veteran and a nurse, Eric learned the importance of public service and hard work at a young age. Now, he is a special education teacher, coach, and County Sheriff’s Office Special Deputy, looking to take the next step in public service.

  • Phil Miller
    Phil Miller

    A lifelong resident of Iowa, Phil is a veterinarian and community leader who has served on his church council and as president of the Community School District Board. He is running to fight for quality health care, strong public schools, and good jobs.

  • Kelcey Brackett

    An Iowa native, city councilmember, and former small-business owner, Kelcey is running to improve the lives of all Iowans, not just those at the top.

  • Marie Gleason

    After over twenty years at John Deere & Company and deep community leadership, Marie is running for the State House to fight for all Iowans.

  • Christian Andrews

    An education advocate and former small business owner, Christian is running to ensure quality public education and good jobs for all Iowans.