House Republican Majority Leader Chris Hagenow campaigned for reelection last year on a platform that bore no resemblance to his voting record in the Legislature just a few months after. So Jennifer Konfrst has decided to give Hagenow a rematch in 2018, announcing today she’d run for House District 43 again.
“I love this community, and I’m running to fight for all families in our district,” Konfrst said in a press release. “As a mom and an educator, I’m deeply troubled by politicians at the Capitol who put special interests ahead of Iowans. The residents of our district deserve a representative whose policies match the promises made during the campaign. I will listen to voters and work to make progress for working families again.”
Konfrst came up just 563 votes short in her narrow 51.4% to 48.3% loss to Hagenow in 2018. The Republican leader was able to dump hundreds of thousands of dollars into TV ads in the district, smearing Konfrst and touting Hagenow policy positions that were misleading at best.
Hillary Clinton won the district, which covers Windsor Heights, Clive and West Des Moines, and is the type of suburban area that is increasingly trending toward Democrats. With Donald Trump in the White House – and no unpopular Democratic nominee weighing down the ticket – the party should do particularly well in this Des Moines metro seat in 2018.
Most importantly, Konfrst believes that Hagenow’s campaign promises will still be fresh enough in voters’ minds that they’ll realize – with some prodding from Democrats – that the Republican leader wasn’t truthful to voters.
“As a leader, he has a lot of culpability in the things that are up there that he didn’t campaign on,” Konfrst noted.
Despite the 2016 loss, Democrats ran a strong campaign in District 43, and Konfrst feels she had many great conversations with voters that she wants to revisit in another run.
“I believe it’s time for a fresh perspective and new leadership in the Iowa House. I look forward to this opportunity to listen to my neighbors and work hard to earn their votes,” she said.
If Democrats hope to retake the Iowa House – or at least make up substantial ground – in 2018, the Hagenow/Konfrst rematch will be a top priority. Supporters can check out more on Konfrst’s website.
by Pat Rynard