COPY-Iowa Senate split - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

COPY-Iowa Senate split

The advantage Democrats have in the Iowa Senate is just one seat.

But, it could have been a 25-25 tie if a special election in eastern Iowa had gone the other way.

Now, the Senate's outgoing president, who's spent 32-years in office in Des Moines, has one more chance to make a difference.

Liz Mathis spent more than 20-years reporting on lawmakers in Des Moines. Now, she's one of them, and her election has everything to do with the balance of power in Des Moines.

Sen. Liz Mathis, (D) Cedar Rapids, IA says, "Hopefully, we'll get a lot of things done, because we're going to be getting along, this year."

A bold goal for a divided legislature. Mathis' election, in November, made sure Democrats kept control of the Senate. Republicans still hold the House.

"I hope we got last year out of our system," Sen. Jack Kibbie, (D) Senate President said.

As Mathis starts her first term, Senate president Jack Kibbie prepares for his last, remembering some of the dysfunction that dragged out last year's session.

"We work together on most issues, not as well as we used to, or as well as we should," said Sen. Jack Kibbie, (D) Senate President.

Kibbie, and his Republican counterparts, have talked about solidarity, this session.

"Leadership have agreed that we're gonna cut this session short, and do the right thing," Kibbie said.

And, to take a page from Mathis' playbook.

"But, the skills I learned as a journalist, those observational skills, and listening skills have served me well as a senator," Mathis said.

And, should serve as a lesson to other lawmakers, as well.

Redistricting put Kibbie in the same district as Republican Senator David Johnson, of Ocheyedan.

But, Kibbie's new district includes only one county, Palo Alto, that was in his old district.

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