Emma Lange, an intern in the Washington office of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is pictured on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.
Emma Lange, an intern in the Washington office of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, is pictured on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.
June 21, 2013



Washington, D.C.

Carroll High School alum Emma Lange is well into a summer internship in the Washington, D.C., office of U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.

Lange, 19, assisted earlier this week with the Carroll Area Development Corporation's Access Washington lobbying event. She attended meetings with the six-person delegation and helped them navigate the corridors of the Capitol and surrounding congressional office buildings.

A Grinnell College sophomore, Lange, who graduated from CHS in 2012, has an interest in pursuing elective office herself in the future.

"It's definitely a possibility," Lange said. "I would be pleased to be one of the first female politicians in an under-served area of Iowa."

Iowa joins Mississippi as the only two states to have never elected a woman as governor or to the U.S. Senate or House.

"I just don't think we've had that many females running for big-name things," Lange said. "We're just as capable as everyone else."

A registered Democrat, Lange worked for the campaign of President Barack Obama in 2008 - as a high school freshman. She made calls to prospective voters and helped canvass the region. Lange also interned for the congressional campaigns of Democrats Christie Vilsack and Rob Hubler - both of whom lost races to U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa.

Lange said she is fortunate to work in Harkin's office before the veteran Democrat retires at the end of 2014.

"It's really great because the internship itself is so well established," Lange said.

Lange, whose responsibilities include attending committee meetings and providing Capitol tours to Iowans, said she has seen Harkin hard at work for his state.

"He's a very genuine and well-respected statesman," Lange said. "He's actually interested in the people of Iowa."

For her part, Lange, a daughter of Mike Lange of Pella and Lori Lange of Carroll, is a political science major at Grinnell. Her two older brothers, Adam, 24, and Andrew, 23, are Grinnell College and CHS graduates now living in New York City.

Adam is a student at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. Andrew is a studio artist with Clockwork Apple.