NEW LEADERSHIP: Iowa House Democrats Gather At Capital

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Iowa Democrats hope increased presence at the statehouse gives them more say in the next session.

On election night, the party returned 35 of 36 incumbents and increased its 40 seats to 47.

Saturday, representatives gathered behind closed doors to welcome new members and select their leadership for the next two years.

“I’m very excited to be a part of the 47 people in the house that will represent the state of Iowa,” said District 40 Representative, John Forbes.

There are 100 men and women in the Iowa House of Representative, with republicans maintaining a slim majority there and Democrats controlling the senate.

That’s the make-up; the question is if the two sides will be able to work together on big issues like property tax reform.

“We represent Republicans and Democrats and everyone else in between. Our job is to put the election behind us and do what’s right for the people,” said House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy.

Earlier this week, Senator Brad Zaun told Channel 13 News that both sides were close to a deal in 2012 that would provide relief for commercial and residential property owners.

The deal fell apart after some lawmakers felt cities and counties would lose too much revenue.

“I think the Republican’s proposal certainly affected the pocket book of business and home owners more in a more substantial way,” said Zaun.

“It’s kind of a fight to see who gets that relief. We think that 90% of the relief should go to small businesses. Republicans think that relief should go to out-of-state corporations,” McCarthy told Channel 13 News.

That’s just one of the fights for freshmen like John Forbes.

He says his constituents want the parties to find solutions and in January, Iowans will see if they can do just that; compromise. 

“I want to work across the aisle, knowing that at times, we’re going to have to compromise,” said Forbes.