DES MOINES, Iowa – State Senator Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, announced on Twitter on Tuesday that she would run for the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District race.
“It’s been the joy of my life to listen to your stories, be your voice, and help people who need it. But lately what I hear from so many in eastern Iowa from the checker in the grocery store to a new mom who stopped me on the street is their concern about the level of conflict and where we are headed as a country; whether the people we send to Washington are putting Iowa first or just playing politics,” she said in her campaign announcement video.
“It’s clear that Iowans want leaders who care about fairness and honesty, who want to make sure businesses and workers succeed, who want to see communities thrive so that our kids and grandkids inherit an even better Iowa. And that means putting service ahead of politics. It’s not the time to curry favor with other politicians or climb the political ladder or turn a blind eye to the riots of January 6. The vote against curbing domestic violence against women or COVID relief for Iowa families and business – the list goes on. You deserve better,” Mathis added.
The reports are true: I am running for Congress in #IA01. It’s clear Iowans want leaders who care about fairness, honesty, and putting service ahead of politics. That is why I am running. Together, we can flip this seat blue. Let’s get to work! pic.twitter.com/dGuru0J6K7
— Liz Mathis (@LizMathis1) July 27, 2021
Mathis was first elected to the Iowa Senate in 2011 and represents Iowa Senate District 34 that includes Robins, Marion, Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, Bertram, Ely, and southern Linn County. She serves on the Senate Agriculture, Appropriations, Commerce, Human Resources, and Veterans Affairs committees. She also serves on the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee.
She grew up on her family’s farm near DeWitt, attended Central Community High School, and graduated from the University of Iowa.
Mathis worked as a journalist for 22 years, including working as a reporter, anchor, and producer for KCRG-TV 9 in Cedar Rapids where Hinson also worked for a time. Mathis currently serves as the chief community officer for Four Oaks, a child welfare and behavioral health agency that helps troubled kids and their families.
Mathis and her husband, Mark, live in Hiawatha. They own a marketing and advertising company and have two adult children.
Hinson’s campaign responded to the announcement by pointing out Mathis’ voting record.
“Nancy Pelosi has handpicked her new protégé: Liberal Liz Mathis. Liberal Liz has never met a tax hike she doesn’t like — she voted against Iowa families and the largest tax cut in Iowa’s history. Liberal Liz supports lockdowns, mask mandates, and keeping our kids out of school. She even supports vaccine passports,” Sophie Crowell, Hinson’s campaign manager, said.
“While Congresswoman Ashley Hinson takes Nancy Pelosi to task in Washington every single day and is fighting against the far-left’s destructive tax and spend agenda, Liberal Liz has proven that she would be a Pelosi puppet,” she added.
Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann said Mathis’ record demonstrates that she has “entrenched herself in radical partisanship.”
“While in the State Senate, Mathis opposed getting Iowa’s students back in the classroom, and now that they are back, Mathis wants our children to be indoctrinated with Critical Race Theory. It’s this ridiculousness that Mathis wants to push at the federal level. Now that she has entered the race, Iowans must stand up and defeat her next November,” he said.
Hinson is serving her first term in the U.S. House of Representatives after unseating incumbent Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer, D-Dubuque, in 2020. She previously served in the Iowa House of Representatives representing Iowa House District 67.