Joni Ernst

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Joni Ernst
Joni Ernst Official photo portrait 114th Congress.jpg
U.S. Senator from Iowa
From: January 3, 2015-present
Predecessor Tom Harkin
Successor Incumbent
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Gail[1]
Religion Lutheran[1]

Senator Joni K. Ernst is a Republican U.S. Senator from Iowa who was elected in 2014. She was chosen to give the rebuttal to the president Barack Obama's State of the Union address in 2015.

Ernst received 52% of the vote in November 2014, while her Democratic opponent received only 44%. In her victory, she swept 85 of Iowa's 99 counties.[2]

She joined the Iowa U. S. Congressional delegation consisting of two Republican U. S. senators and four House members, three of whom are Republicans and one a Democrat.[3]


Ernst saw combat as a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2004) and served in the Iowa Army National Guard as well as the U.S. Army Reserves where she rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.[4]

She served as auditor of Montgomery County, Iowa from 2005 to 2011.

Ernst was elected to the 84th and 85th general assembly of the Iowa legislature (Jan. 2011-Jan. 2015), her second term as a state senator from district 12, representing six counties in the southwest corner of Iowa.[1]

She campaigned in the Republican U.S. Senate primary with the claim "I'll know how to cut pork".[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Senator Joni K. Ernst" (2015). The Iowa Legislature website. Retrieved on January 16, 2014.
  2. Pate, Paul D. [Iowa Secretary of State] (December 29, 2014). "November 4, 2014 general election". Iowa Secretary of State website. Retrieved on January 15, 2015.
  3. "Iowa" (2015). Retrieved on January 15, 2015.
  4. Twitchy staff (January 15, 2015). 'Jackass': Luke Russert writes off combat vet Joni Ernst as 'unknown pig farmer'. Twitchy. Retrieved on January 16, 2015.
  5. Strong, Jonathan (March 24, 2014). "Senate candidate: I'll use my hog castrating experience to help end pork barrel spending". Breitbart. Retrieved on January 16, 2014