CORALVILLE, Iowa -- At 27 years old, Zach Wahls is returning to Des Moines to become one of the youngest members of the Iowa Senate.
In 2011 he gained a national profile when he gave a passionate speech to the Iowa House of Representatives defending marriage equality. The video went viral on Youtube, attracting millions of views in a matter of weeks.
“I was 19 years old, I was a student at the University of Iowa and I really had no idea what I was getting myself into,” said Wahls.
He announced his run for the District 37 of the Iowa Senate nearly a year ago, in December 2017. He won the Democratic primary for the seat in June before winning the general election on November 6th. His campaign focused on issues of education, healthcare and worker's rights.
Wahls and his younger sister, Zeb, were raised by two mothers. The siblings now run a small business together designing decks of playing cards featuring female icons.
"He handles the business stuff, I do the art," said Zeb, a freelance artist who splits time between Iowa and Tennessee.
Wahls said over the next few weeks he would be focusing on the holiday rush at his business and preparing for committee assignments in the Iowa Senate.
"A of this stuff it’s not sexy, it’s not glamorous," he said. "It’s just making our government work. And over and over that was what I heard from people, they want to make government work."