LaMetta Wynn etched her place in Iowa history in 1995 by becoming the first African American woman to be elected as mayor in Iowa and only the second African American to hold that office in the state. Wynn was first elected at age 62 as mayor of the now Lincoln Highway Heritage Byway community of Clinton, Iowa after working a career as a registered nurse and raising 10 children. She served three terms in office. Television crews came from as far away as Germany and The Netherlands to interview her, finding her election remarkable in what was then 97-percent-white Iowa. She served three terms in office.
Clinton Herald photo.
Clinton, Iowa mayor-elect smiling after her election win in 1995. Clinton Herald photo.
Iowa’s governors recognized her talent too. Gov. Tom Vilsack appointed her to the ground-breaking Vision Iowa board, Gov. Terry Branstad named her to the Commission on the Status of African-Americans, and Gov. Chet Culver appointed her to the State Board of Education. One observer commented that Wynn “carries a hammer in her purse; important doors open to her and she has the ability to bring government together.” Wynn made many other contributions to her family and community before passing away June 24, 2021.