At about 12:20 this afternoon, history was made as Joni Ernst was sworn in as the first female Senator from Iowa.
Senator Ernst stood out in the crowd today in her red suit walking down the aisle. Her typical warm, welcoming smile was replaced with a humbled and sincere expression of honor. Moments later she officially became Iowa’s Senator who will work alongside the beloved Senator Charles Grassley.
A few short hours later, I found myself standing in a room full of political elite, congratulating Senator Ernst on her incredible accomplishment. As a group of us made our way to her to offer our congratulations, we were welcomed with her heartfelt smile. She was eager to take pictures with students from her home state. When a student mentioned she hoped to see Ernst in the Des Moines area soon, she responded, “I will be back very soon. I have drill this weekend.” (Ernst is a lieutenant colonel in the National Guard). She is living proof that women do not have to follow a paved path, but rather create their own.
However, Senator Ernst was not the only female elected official from Iowa in the room. I also ran into Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds. Kim Reynolds embodies a truly inspiring and hardworking leader.
Two independent, determined, and driven women in leading positions are opening doors of possibility for women of the future.