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Rachel Junck is surrounded by supporters cheering her on after news breaks of her election to represent Ward 4 of the Ames City Council on Dec. 3.

After Tuesday’s runoff election for representative of Ward 4 of the Ames City Council, Rachel Junck is now the youngest woman to be elected to political office in the state of Iowa. Junck beat out incumbent Chris Nelson for the position.

The position was highly contested as runoff elections are quite unusual. The last time a runoff election occurred was in 2011 between Chuck Jons and Victoria Szopinski — a runoff election Szopinski ended up winning.

Junck is 20 years old, a student in chemical engineering at Iowa State and a long-time resident of Ames. As a student living in town, her experiences will bring even more Iowa State students’ perspectives and voices to the Ames City Council. 

The ex-officio already helps bring the student voice to the Council, but does not have a vote. As a representative of the City Council, Junck will have a vote.

In a previous article from the Iowa State Daily, Junck said that climate change at a local level would be a priority if she was elected. Sustainability is an important issue, and it’s great to see Junck recognizing the role that Ames can have in helping combat climate change.

Her campaign team was mainly student-led, which shows the impact that young people can have within local politics. It’s refreshing to see younger people getting involved with politics, especially at the local level. Local politics have such an impact on the day-to-day lives of people, and a lot of people don’t recognize the importance of getting involved with local government, whether that be Student Government or City Council. 

Junck’s election is historical and will hopefully connect the city of Ames to students on campus in a more direct way. She will bring a fresh, younger voice to the Council as a voting representative who will help students feel like they are being better represented and their well-being and success in Ames is being taken into consideration.

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