Roxanne Conlin

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Roxanne Conlin
Roxanne1 (4525472836).jpg
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
Appointed by Jimmy Carter
Preceded by James Rosenbaum
Succeeded by Kermit Anderson
Personal details
Born (1944-06-30) June 30, 1944 (age 74)
Huron, South Dakota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) James Conlin
Education Drake University (BA, JD, MPA)

Roxanne Barton Conlin (born June 30, 1944) is an American lawyer who served as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa from 1977 to 1981. A Democrat, she was an unsuccessful candidate for Governor of Iowa in 1982 and for United States Senate in 2010.

Education and early career[edit]

Conlin was born to Marion W. and Alyce M. Barton on June 30, 1944 in Huron, South Dakota. Conlin and her family moved to Sioux City, Clinton, and then Des Moines, Iowa in 1958. She attended Drake University in Des Moines, earning a B.A., J.D. and M.A. in public administration. She married James Conlin in 1964 and has four children.[1]

After working as a lawyer for three years, she served as Deputy Industrial Commissioner in Des Moines from 1967 to 1968, then an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Iowa for seven years (1969–1976). She headed the Civil Rights Section of the Iowa Department of Justice.

Later legal and political career[edit]

Jimmy Carter appointed Conlin as United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa in 1977, making her one of the first women ever appointed as a US Attorney.[2]

Conlin has served as the first female president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA). She also founded and was the first chair of the Iowa Women's Political Caucus and served as president of NOW's Legal Defense and Education Fund. Conlin has been involved in the Iowa Democratic Party, serving for a short time as state chair, and ran unsuccessfully for governor of Iowa in 1982.[1]

Conlin currently practices law at Roxanne Conlin & Associates, P.C. in Des Moines.

2010 U.S. Senate campaign[edit]

In October 2009, she announced she was running in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2010 against Bob Krause and Tom Fiegen. In the primary, she was criticized for being unwilling to debate her primary opponents.[3] Conlin later criticized her Republican opponent in the general election for his unwillingness to debate her.[4] During the primary campaign, Conlin also faced criticism for avoiding questions about her stance on platform issues. Questioned in an April 28 live chat, sponsored by, about disagreements with the Democratic party platform, Conlin answered she could not know the party platform because it would not be adopted until June 2010. When it was pointed out that the current party platform was ratified at the 2008 state convention and is the party platform until superseded, she had no response.[5][6]

Conlin later lost the November 2010 general election against six-term Republican incumbent Chuck Grassley.[7][8]


  1. ^ a b Finding Aid Biography for Roxanne Conlin at the Iowa Women's Archives,
  2. ^ About Roxanne, Roxanne Conlin & Associates website,
  3. ^ Democrat senate hopefuls turn attacks to each other - Surprising public clash sparked by disagreement over debate schedule,
  4. ^
  5. ^ Hugs4u says: (2010-04-28). "Replay: Live chat with U.S. Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin". Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  6. ^ "Conlin attacked over ties to lobbyist during second U.S. Senate forum". 2010-05-28. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  7. ^ Tom Beaumont, "Conlin Says She Would Like to Run Against Grassley," Des Moines Register Blogs,
  8. ^ "Conlin wins Iowa Democratic primary for US Senate, will face Republican Grassley", AP,

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jerome Fitzgerald
Democratic nominee for Governor of Iowa
Succeeded by
Lowell Junkins
Preceded by
Arthur Small
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Iowa
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Patty Judge