On the Farm
Liz grew up on a farm in eastern Iowa doing all the chores you’d expect a farm kid to do. Her mom was the nurse for the town doctor and her dad sold seed corn in addition to farming. Both parents served in World War II. Liz paid for her first year of college by saving money from years of detasseling and mowing the local cemetery.
Pursuing Fairness through Journalism
At the University of Iowa, Liz earned a degree in journalism, met her husband and got her first job in broadcasting for a local radio station. Soon a position at KWWL Channel 7 followed, where Liz reported from the Cedar Rapids bureau before becoming an anchor at age 23. Later, Liz taught at Wartburg College in Waverly and then returned to the anchor chair for KCRG Channel 9. Every night in living rooms across eastern Iowa, Liz told important stories that helped Iowans, held powerful interests accountable and shone a light on issues affecting our state – from the farm crisis to healthcare to drug epidemics.
Advocating for Iowa’s Most Vulnerable
Liz started a new career in 2007 as a nonprofit leader in Cedar Rapids. Working for Horizons, and then later with Four Oaks, Liz worked with others to help countless Iowa families recover from devastating floods. In both positions, and over 13 years, she teamed up to support children and adults who needed mental health care, housing and basic needs.
Leading in the State Senate
In 2011, Liz was elected to the State Senate representing parts of Linn County. As Senator, Liz has spoken up for families struggling with the state’s Medicaid program and created countless measures that focused on children, Iowa’s economy and educational growth. As a member of the Agriculture Committee, Liz has worked to help Iowa family farmers and farming communities. And she’s assisted Iowa families and businesses struggling to recover from COVID-19 and during the recent derecho disaster, she helped them find a warm meal, seek resources or get back on their feet.
Like many Iowans Liz played the dual caregiver role, caring for her parents, while raising her own kids. Liz is deeply aware of the need for affordable health care because she lived it; from the worry over her young son’s serious health issues to navigating insurance and red tape with her parents’ care. Liz and her husband Mark live in Hiawatha now after raising their kids, Mark and Mary Fran, in Waterloo and Robins.