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New Group Wants More Iowa Latinos to Run for Office

Clay Masters
Rob Barron, co-founder of Iowa Political Network, at IPR's Des Moines studios.

A new group, called Latino Political Network, aimed at increasing the number of Latinos running for elected office in Iowa holds its first meeting. Currently there are no Latino members of the Iowa legislature and this group wants to change that.

The organization was modeled after a similar Iowa group called 50/50 in 2020 that encourages women to run for elected office.

Latino Political Network Co-founder Rob Barronsays his group does not have a set goal in mind other than helping Latinos run for office.

Barron himself is a member of his local school board.

“There’s probably around a dozen (Latino politicians) in the whole state at any level,” Barron says. “It doesn’t give us connections or role models to go to and say how did you do it and I want to follow you. We’re trying to fill that gap.”

Barron is a former the former staff director in Iowa for retired Democratic Senator Tom Harkin and currently works for NextGen Climate but he says this group is non-partisan.

The kickoff event on Saturday is  held at Simpson College’s Ankeny campus at 1:00 and  will have Latino representatives from various local offices. 

Clay Masters is the senior politics reporter for MPR News.