Corrieri seeks Democratic nomination for vacant Iowa House seat


At-Large Representative Amber Corrieri listens at an Ames City Council meeting June 18. 

Jake Webster

Amber Corrieri is seeking a promotion from Ames voters.

First elected to City Council as an at-large representative in 2013, Corrieri is seeking to fill the Democratic nomination to fill the vacant Iowa House District 46 seat. The seat is vacant following former Rep. Lisa Heddens’ resignation in the wake of her appointment to the Story County Board of Supervisors.

The district covers the Iowa State campus and Campustown, among other neighborhoods with high student populations. Gov. Kim Reynolds scheduled the election for Aug. 6, while most students will still be away on summer break ⁠— an action which has been criticized by Democrats.

“I think it’s unfortunate that we’re going to have an election where a significant portion of our population here in Ames will not be able to participate,” Corrieri said. “We’ve seen continued attacks on voting rights in the last couple of years in the state. Fortunately a lot of those bills have not moved forward.”

SF 575 in the last legislative session would have restricted satellite voting in “state-owned” buildings, meaning the entire Iowa State campus would have been ineligible to host satellite polling stations as it did during the 2018 elections.

The bill would have also further restricted eligible absentee ballots to those received by county election commissioner’s office by poll closing time on Election Day. Currently, any ballot sealed and mailed before Election Day is counted.

Americans have more than $1.6 trillion in student loan debt. Tuition at Iowa State increased again for the coming academic year, with the Iowa Legislature not fully funding Reynolds’ request for education spending.

“I don’t think it’s any secret that college debt is crippling students in Iowa,” Corrieri said. “The balance has really shifted from state support of our universities and gearing more and more towards students and families paying for that debt.”

Corrieri said it is important for Democrats to take back the Iowa House of Representatives ⁠— which Republicans currently hold a 53-46 majority in ⁠— or another branch of the state government.

“We need to move back towards the state investing in education,” Corrieri said. “It’s been proven time and time again that if you want to talk about things like economic development ⁠— keeping people in the state after they graduate — we need to do more to invest. I want to see the Democrats take control because I think there will be a focus on investment in education.”

The Democratic nominee will be selected in a convention Saturday. Jamet Colton, an Ames Community School District Board director and Ross Wilburn, diversity officer and associate program director for community and economic development for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, are also seeking the nomination.