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Three Iowa Women Running for Top Seats

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28)--A busy night throughout the state on Tuesday as Iowans learned who will represent their political parties in the upcoming election, and voters chose three Iowa women to run for national office.

 It has people talking about the possibility of change in Iowa, especially because the state has never elected a woman to congress.

It's been 168 years since Iowa was founded since then women haven't been elected to congress or even to serve as governor, but some voters are optimistic that things could be different this year.  
Three is a magic number, and in Iowa politics that's exactly the number of female candidates still vying for top seats.

"This is a record. We have never had this many women win the primary nomination before," said Jean Lloyd-Jones, co-founder of 5050 in 2020.

It's a bi-partisan organization campaigning to get 50 percent of the seats in the Iowa legislature to be held by women in the year 2020. She's hoping that Tuesday night spearheads something new.

"We're very optimistic that this might be the year we break through at least one of those glass ceilings," she said.

That's because there is an open door. Tuesday's primary results saw Joni Ernst clinch the republican nomination for the U.S senate seat.

Democrat Staci Appel is in the running for Iowa's third congressional district seat, and Mariannette Miller-Meeks won in the second district republican primary.

"Research shows us that when women are involved in the leadership roles, in the decision making and ultimately making the laws, we do better," said Dawn Oliver-Wiand, executive director at the Iowa Women's Foundation.

She says part of improving the lives of women and girls in the community begins with having people who understand its importance.

"They have an opportunity to look at the bigger picture, they have an opportunity to look at different points of view," Olivier-Wiand said.

Ultimately, it's about making sure that various voices and perspectives in the state are heard.

"That's one of our goals. It's to have a better reflection of that diversity," said Llyod-Jones.

The big day is about five months from now on November 4th when Iowans hit the polls once again.

The November state race will also feature 38 women running for 36 seats in Iowa's general assembly, three seats in the senate and 33 in the house.
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