Lisa Heddens, a long-serving Iowa representative who represented Campustown and the Iowa State campus in the state legislature, has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors.
A vacancy was created following the appointment of ex-Supervisor Rick Sanders as President of the Iowa State University Research Park.
The vacancy committee — composed of the county auditor, the county treasurer and the county recorder — voted unanimously to appoint Heddens as a supervisor.
Heddens’ appointment shifts the partisan balance from a 2-1 Democratic majority to an entirely Democratic board. It also leaves another vacancy to be filled — Heddens’ Iowa House district.
This appointment makes history, beyond the simple electoral calculations that will follow.
“With Heddens’ appointment, I believe I [sic] we have just made history as [the first] all female Board of Supervisors in Iowa,” Supervisor Lauris Olson said in a tweet.
Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, another Democrat representing part of Ames in the Iowa House of Representatives, had previously said she believes if Heddens were to be appointed, the party would have no problem holding onto Heddens’ seat. Losing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Fred Hubbell won Heddens’ district by a margin of 65-32 in 2018; Heddens ran unopposed that year.
Gov. Kim Reynolds will have to call a special election in the coming months for Heddens’ old seat. There will not be a primary for the nominations in that special election, instead nominating conventions will select nominees, and the winner will serve the remainder of Heddens’ unexpired term.
Heddens will be sworn into her new position as a Supervisor Tuesday and will serve the remainder of Sanders’ unexpired term.