Maria Bribriesco Iowa’s only Latina candidate for the Iowa House of Representatives

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“Bribriesco is the best-co,” read Andrew Bribriesco’s campaign slogan for student council president back in 1997 when he was

an eighth grader at Bettendorf Middle School. He won. Now 27, he’s helping his mother run for office.

Although she’s not using Andrew’s catchy slogan, Maria Bribriesco is getting support from the whole family as she runs for a seat in the Iowa House of Representatives for District 94 on the Democratic ticket.

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“I’m very proud of her,” says her son Anthony. “She’s doing all the hard work that needs to be done at this level.”

Maria’s husband Bill is quick to point out that if she wins, she would be the first Latina member of the Iowa House of Representatives.

“She has engaged in a grassroots campaign,” says Mr. Bribriesco. “I think it’s encoded in her genes to be someone representing the people.”

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Born in south Texas, Maria traveled with her parents, who worked as migrant farm hands, following the harvest north each season. From an early age, she was engaged in civil rights issues for farm workers like her parents. Her experiences motivated her to go on to earn a law degree from the University of Iowa.

Bribriesco retired last year after 27 years as an attorney with the United States Army at the Rock Island Arsenal. A call this April from the Scott County Democrats cut short her plans for gardening as she launched into this new opportunity for public service.

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“I’m enjoying myself,” says Bribriesco. “I’ve had 95% positive experiences with my door knocking.”

This November she’ll be on the ballot, opposing Republican incumbent Linda Miller, who was first elected in 2006.

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“This district has never elected a democrat,” says Bribriesco. “I think that if I reach enough people that are fair minded and open minded that I can win.”

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