Iowa City City Councilor Janice Weiner announces run for Iowa Senate

Iowa City City Councilor Janice Weiner announced she is running for Iowa Senate. She will aim for the seat currently held by Sen. Joe Bolkcom, who announced he will not run for reelection.


Lauren White, Politics Reporter

Iowa City City Councilor Janice Weiner announced on Tuesday that she is running for Iowa Senate District 45 in the 2022 election. 

Weiner, a Democrat, is the first candidate to announce a campaign for the seat. Fellow Democrat Sen. Joe Bolkcom, who currently serves District 45 in the Senate, announced that he will not run for reelection. 

“This campaign isn’t about me, it’s about the Iowa we will leave for our children and grandchildren,” Weiner said at her press release. 

Before being elected to the Iowa City City Council in 2019, Weiner served 26 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service.  

In an interview with The Daily Iowan on Friday, Weiner said her experience in the State Department and City Council has prepared her for the new role she hopes to fill. 

“This is really the way to put to use everything I learned and gained over the years for the people of Iowa City and be able to give back,” Weiner said. 

Weiner said, if elected, her biggest priorities would be to restore local control, fund education, child care, and elder care, and clean up Iowa’s water. These issues are especially important to her, she said, because they affect everyone and it should be simple to find bipartisan agreement. 

“There are so many issues that we ought to be able to find consensus on, that affects everybody, no matter where they live in the state,” Weiner said. 

Another issue that Weiner hopes she and her Iowa City colleagues can prioritize is representing the University of Iowa as much as they represent local citizens. 

While on the City Council, Weiner said she worked closely with students to solve local problems and build relationships, and she plans to keep that line of communication open if elected, she said. 

“I see myself as a lifelong public servant. That’s essentially what anybody who works in government and as a diplomat is — a servant,” Weiner said. 

As important as it is to pass legislation that people in Johnson County can benefit from, Weiner said continuing to talk to people in the district and getting more Democrats elected around the state will have to remain a priority. 

“We need to have people who can see different perspectives that live different kinds of lives, and be able to represent from all over the state,” Weiner said.