NewsLocal News


1st female Iowa lieutenant governor, Jo Ann Zimmerman, dies

Flag Half-staff half staff American
Posted at 2:39 PM, Oct 23, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s first female lieutenant governor, Jo Ann Zimmerman, has died.

Her daughter Beth Boland said Wednesday that her mother was 82 when she passed away Tuesday night at a hospice in Des Moines, surrounded by her family. Boland says Zimmerman died of complications from pulmonary fibrosis, which had been diagnosed seven or eight years ago.

Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered flags at state facilities to be flown at half-staff in Zimmerman’s honor.

Zimmerman was elected lieutenant governor as a Democrat in 1986 and served alongside the Republican governor, Terry Branstad. She was defeated by Republican Joy Corning in 1990. Before the 1990 state election, the governor and the lieutenant governor ran separately.

In 1992 Zimmerman helped found the Democratic Activist Women’s Network to help support female candidates.

Boland describes her mother as fearless, saying that “when she saw an injustice or something that she didn’t think was fair, she went about to fix it.”