Scott County Republicans ready for Ernst Era in Washington

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In a storybook year, Joni Ernst is going from political unknown to United States Senator.

"Oh my goodness," she said on election night. "Thank you, Iowa."

When she's sworn in on Tuesday morning, it will mark a rapid rise that's filled with milestones.

She's the first Iowa woman to serve in Congress.  She's also the first female veteran to serve in the United States Senate.

"There's just excitement across Iowa," she said during a stop in Wapello on the campaign trail.  "No matter where we go, it's standing room only."

"I'm really impressed that Iowans were able to elect a woman to such a high office," said Carol Crain, a vice chair of Scott County Republicans.

Scott County Republicans are seizing the moment.  At their first 2015 meeting, Ernst's success is both inspiring and motivating.

"We're all very excited to finally send somebody who will work with Senator Grassley instead of voting against him each time," said Judy Davidson, who chairs the group.

It's momentum with a message.  Ernst will focus on popular campaign themes of cutting federal spending and reducing unnecessary regulations.

Among other duties, she'll be assigned to the agriculture and armed services committees.

"There's always energy when someone new comes in," Crain said.  "You always have high expectations. I think she's going to hold up and do a great job."

While those firsts put a brighter spotlight on Joni Ernst, the attention can be a plus for Iowa Republicans.

With work starting on the next presidential race, that can be a good thing.

"I think it will be the start of a new era, not just for Iowa, but for the United States," Davidson said.

It all starts Tuesday for Joni Ernst.

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