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Get to Know Nate Boulton

Father, Husband, Attorney, and Public Servant.

A Record of Service to Iowa

State Senator Nate Boulton was first elected to the legislature in 2016. During his first term in the Iowa Senate, Nate stood out as a leader on issues related to workplace rights and civil justice. In 2017, just one month after taking office, he lead Senate Democrats in debate throughout the night to fight against a bill that stripped away public sector bargaining rights–work that allowed public employees across the state to secure extensions on their contracts before their rights to negotiate fair agreements on wages and benefits were taken away.


In 2018, Nate introduced a bill that would create a paid family leave program for Iowa workers. In 2019, Nate took the lead in resisting legislation that attempted to prohibit private conservation nonprofit organizations from purchasing land for public uses that included water quality and flood mitigation and successfully passed an amendment on a major sports gambling bill to help protect student athletes.


In 2020, he was able to author multiple pieces of legislation that advanced through the subcommittee and committee process despite being in the minority party, with one of his bills expanding health care for children passing the full Senate without receiving a single no vote. In 2021, Boulton again introduced legislation for strong workplace protections with the support of other Senate Democrats while also authoring three bills with bipartisan co-sponsors.


In 2023, Boulton worked as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee to have committee bills introduced and advanced dealing with court-ordered restitution, increasing penalties for assaults of sports officials, and eliminating slavery from the Iowa Constitution. In 2024, he introduced a bipartisan bill to help seasonal workers qualify for unemployment benefits when they are on a layoff but expect to return to work with the same employer when the layoff ends.

In addition to being the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, Nate currently serves as the Minority Whip, Ranking Member of the Administrative Rules and Regulations Committee, and a member of the Committees on State Government, Labor/Workforce, Agriculture, International Relations, and the Budget Subcommittee for Justice Systems Appropriations. He also serves on the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy board and the Municipal Police and Fire Retirement Systems of Iowa board.

Beyond the Iowa Legislature

Outside the legislature, Nate works as a private practice attorney focused on protecting workplace rights. He has represented Iowans who have suffered devastating and even fatal injuries at work, victims of wrongful termination, as well as a number of public and private sector labor unions. On behalf of public employees, he has argued before the Iowa Supreme Court against the closure of two state mental health institutes as well as helped secure a landmark Iowa Supreme Court decision in a case where Governor Branstad illegally used a line-item veto to shutdown workforce centers across the state.


In addition to his work as an attorney, Nate has also served as an adjunct professor and taught college and law school classes related to law, management, and leadership. He has also served as a grader for the Iowa bar exam and been featured as a presenter at legal education seminars for Iowa lawyers.

Husband and father

While Nate grew up in southeast Iowa, he has lived in Des Moines area for 20 years as he attended college and law school and, after graduating law school in 2005, bought his first home on the east side of Des Moines. Nate’s wife, Andrea Boulton, works as the community conservation director for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to conservation and outdoor recreation in Iowa. She is involved in a number of community organizations, including her active role in the newly-reorganized Accent Neighborhood Association as well as the Des Moines Water Works Board, Water Works Park Foundation, and the Friends of Des Moines Parks board. She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree and master of public administration degree.


Apart from professional and community activities, Andrea and Nate are also backyard beekeepers who have won ribbons for their honey at the Iowa State Fair. Nate and Andrea have two daughters, Gwyneth and Alys, and live near Grand View Park in east Des Moines.

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