Iowa State Extension associate program director wins Democratic nominating convention


Jake Webster / Iowa State Daily

Ross Wilburn speaks after being nominated by the Story County Democrats on June 29. He will have the Democratic Party line on the ballot for the special election Aug. 6 for Iowa House District 46, covering the Iowa State campus.

Jake Webster

Democrats have a nominee for the special election called to fill the vacancy in Iowa House District 46.

Ross Wilburn, diversity officer and associate program director for community and economic development for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, won the Democratic nomination for the vacant House District 46 seat on the second ballot of voting in the Story County Democrats’ nominating convention Saturday at Ames High School.

The seat is vacant following the resignation of former Rep. Lisa Heddens, who resigned to fill a vacancy on the Story County Board of Supervisors.

Wilburn faced Jamet Colton ⁠— an Ames Community School Board director — who was eliminated in the first round of voting, and Ames City Council At-Large Representative Amber Corrieri in seeking the nomination.

“I’m very energized,” Wilburn said after winning the nomination. “We did have a good ground game to reach out to the precinct chairs and to the alternates.”

The eligible voters at the convention were the 19 precinct chairpersons of the Democratic Party for the precincts within the district.

Wilburn defeated Corrieri on the second ballot by a margin of more than 2-1.

“We’re going to proceed forward with fundraising, door-knocking, and get Ames excited about the fall elections,” Wilburn said.

During his victory speech, Wilburn said he aims to raise $20,000 to fund his campaign in the special election.

The special election is scheduled for Aug. 6.

Story County Democrats Chair Maddie Anderson called the date “unfortunate.”

“It’s before so many students will be back, when people are traveling,” Anderson said. “There is not really a hurry to have this election since the legislature is not even in session right now. I think it was a political move by the governor.”

District 46 covers the Iowa State campus and Campustown.