- If elected, she would be the second Asian American woman to serve in the Iowa House after Swati Dandekar.
Infectious Disease Physician Megan Srinivas has won the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s House District 30 primary. The Des Moines-based infectious disease physician received 63 percent of the vote on June 7. She defeated Eddie Mauro, who received 36 percent, according to The New York Times. The Indian American will now face Republican Jerry Cheevers in the Nov. 8 elections. If elected, Srinivas would be the second Asian American woman to serve in the Iowa House after Swati Dandekar.
The race between Srinivas and Mauro, on the south side of Des Moines, to replace State Rep. Bruce Hunter, a Democrat, was described by community blog Bleeding Heartland as “the most contentious Iowa Democratic legislative primary.”
During the weeks leading up to June 7 primary Mauro has attacked Srinivas for previously registering to vote as a Republican, while a group of Srinivas’ endorsers called on Mauro last week “to exit the race over what they said were unacceptable tactics and bullying,” the Des Moines Register reported.
According to Census Reporter, the district is overwhelmingly White (87 percent) with Asians and Blacks at 4 percent each, and Hispanics at three percent.
The seat is among a handful of deep blue Des Moines-area legislative districts that Democrats have held for years. “In the redrawn district boundaries, which changed this year due to redistricting, active registered Democratic voters outnumbered active Republicans in the district more than two to one as of June 1,” the Des Moines Register reported, citing the Iowa Secretary of State’s office.
Srinivas is contracted with Broadlawns Medical Center and works remotely for the University of North Carolina School for Medicine. She works with Iowa Primary Care Association (PCA) to improve access to Hepatitis C treatment throughout the state. She also serves on the Iowa Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission and sits on the board of the Iowa chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI Iowa).
She previously ran unsuccessfully for a Fort Dodge Iowa House seat in 2018.
A vocal public health voice in Iowa during the coronavirus pandemic and a critic of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ COVID-19 policies, Srinivas was prompted to run to work on issues she sees her patients experience that she can’t fix as a doctor.
Raised in small town Iowa, she graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High. She went on to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and her medical degree with a certificate in teaching from the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. She completed her internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and infectious disease fellowship at the University of North Carolina. Her roots in Iowa drove her to return home to improve health care in her community.
In a previous interview with Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, Srinivas said her heroes are her parents, Geetha and Jay Srinivas. “They are the embodiment of hard work and perseverance,” she said. “Watching them showed me that I could do anything I set my mind to,” she added. “Their unwavering support enables me to overcome challenges and pursue every dream.” She also credited her older brother, Ashwin Srinivas who taught her that “the purpose of life is to improve the world around you.”