Rep. Mary Mascher not seeking reelection to Iowa House

Mascher has been in the Iowa House for 28 years. She is the third Iowa City legislator not seeking reelection to state office in 2022, and Mascher said there are people in Johnson County who have been waiting for this opportunity to run.


Sarah Watson

State Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, speaks on the first day of the 2019 Iowa legislative session Jan. 14, 2019.

Natalie Dunlap, Politics Editor

State Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, will not seek reelection in 2022. The legislator made her announcement on Monday morning. 

Mascher told The Daily Iowan she had been thinking about retirement for quite some time, and that the timing feels right to step away. 

“I have been frustrated and disappointed with some of the partisanship that has occurred, especially within the last number of sessions, ” Mascher said. “…That’s always a little discouraging, however there’s always things that we can find common ground on and I think, obviously, it’s important to be able to do that no matter who is in those offices, and who was elected.” 

Mascher said it’s also nice to bring in new people with different skill sets to Des Moines. 

Last week another Iowa City Democrat, State Sen. Joe Bolkcom, announced he would not seek reelection in 2022. Rep. Christina Bohannan, D-Iowa City, is campaigning for the U.S. Congress, leaving her seat open. 

Mascher said people have reached out to her over the years about running for her seat when she retires. She said she is happy to provide encouragement and advice to candidates, but that it isn’t her job to pick her successor. 

RELATED: Iowa Senator Joe Bolkcom will not seek reelection in 2022

“I’m not worried about Johnson County at all. We have an enormous and a very deep bench,” she said. “And people have been waiting for these kinds of opportunities for a long time.” 

Mascher has been in the Iowa House since 1995. Republicans controlled the House for the majority of her tenure, but Mascher said there is so much for Democrats to be proud of, particularly from 2007 to 2010, when Democrats had the House, Senate, and Governor’s office. 

“Progressives in both chambers increased the minimum wage, banned smoking in public places, protected LGTBQ rights in the civil rights code, invested in solar and wind energy programs, and established the first 4-year old voluntary preschool program in the state,” Mascher shared in a press release.

Mascher has two grandsons attending Iowa City West High School, and said she wants to be present for their marching band and choir events, as well as increase her involvement in various women’s and education groups she is a member of. In her retirement, Mascher also wants to travel to Scotland and Ireland. 

“It’s all part of the process and, you know, we’re all replaceable,” she said. “That’s the other thing I learned that none of us have a lock on these seats and we shouldn’t. They belong to the people and we just have the honor of representing those people.”

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