A Cedar Falls Democrat just announced her candidacy for the Senate District 30 special election, and it’s hard to imagine anyone with a better profile for public office.
Amy Petersen, a professor of special education and a labor activist, wrote on Facebook this morning that she will seek the party’s nomination to replace Jeff Danielson, who resigned two days ago.
She is a:
- Professor of Special Education at the University of Northern Iowa
- Cedar Falls native
- Disabilities rights activist
- First-time candidate
- Union activist and former executive board member for the UNI faculty union
- Researcher/writer on inclusive education and the challenges that African-American women with disabilities face in society
- Married to a pipefitter union member, who is also a labor leader
- Avid motorcyclist
Local Democrats will gather in the next week or two once a special election date is set to choose their nominee at a special convention. There will likely be other candidates who toss their name in, but it is hard to think of someone with a more compelling personal biography to hold this must-win seat for the Democrats.
Here is what Petersen wrote on Facebook:
“After receiving a great deal of encouragement from many fellow Democrats, I am announcing my decision to run for the Senate District 30. I did not take this decision lightly, and frankly, running for political office was the furthest thing from my mind.
I am a Cedar Falls native and I graduated from Cedar Falls High School and the University of Northern Iowa. I am a professor in the Department of Special Education at UNI and serve in numerous leadership roles across our campus. In addition, I work closely with our Iowa state Department of Education to improve educational opportunity for students with disabilities. I sometimes joke that I didn’t get very far in life—here I am living a mile from my childhood home, two blocks from my alma mater—but, it turns out I am exactly where I was meant to be. My professional, academic, and personal worlds have provided me with a wealth of experiences serving the Cedar Valley, UNI community, and our state of Iowa. My husband, Steve, grew up in Hudson. He is a union pipefitter. Together, we are strong advocates for education, labor, and ensuring the Cedar Valley continues to thrive.
So, while running for political office might have been the furthest thing from my mind, I have agreed to run because I have a progressive voice to contribute to legislative debates about the challenges facing the Cedar Valley. This will not be an easy task. I have big shoes to fill, no doubt, but I believe I am the best candidate to ensure Senate District 30 continues to be represented by a Democrat. I would appreciate your support.”
by Pat Rynard