Zach Wahls

District 43

Meet Zach Wahls

Iowa Senate Democratic Leader Zach Wahls was elected to his first term in the Iowa Senate in 2018 and elected Leader in 2020. He represents Senate-District-37, which includes Coralville, western Iowa City and Solon in Johnson County; all of Cedar County; and the City of Wilton in Muscatine County.

Senator Wahls serves on the following committees:

Zach ran for the Iowa Senate to help give all Iowans a voice. He hasn’t forgotten what it felt like to be left out or how hard families like his have had to fight for get a seat at the table.

Prior to his election, Zach worked primarily as an advocate in the LGBTQ rights movement following his 2011 testimony before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee about growing up with lesbian parents in the Midwest. In this capacity, he wrote extensively about his family’s experience, including a best-selling book; he has spoken at more than 200 events, ranging from junior high schools to a prime-time speech at the 2012 Democratic Convention; and he co-founded and led Scouts for Equality, which successfully organized the national campaign to end discrimination against LGBT people in the Boy Scouts of America.

Zach has co-created two creative projects: a creative writing project called “The Rainbow Letters,” an online collection of nearly 100 letters written by people with one or more LGBTQ parents; and The Woman Cards— an art project inspired by Hillary Clinton’s response to Mr. Trump’s accusation that she “played the woman card” during the 2016 presidential campaign—in conjunction with his sister Zebby. The Woman Cards is a deck of playing cards featuring 15 hand-drawn portraits of American women who changed the world even though the deck was stacked against them.

Zach completed his Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in June 2018.

Zach lives in Coralville. Outside of his work as a state senator, he enjoys time outdoors, sipping whiskey, reading, writing and cheering for the Iowa Hawkeyes and Green Bay Packers.