DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democratic governor candidate Deidre DeJear announced Friday that she had chosen an eastern Iowa county auditor as her running mate.

DeJear said she chose Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker as her lieutenant governor candidate because he is “not only a true defender of democracy but also he understands the growing challenges facing small communities across the state.”

Van Lancker is a four-term county auditor who last week lost his bid to be the Democratic nominee for secretary of state by more than 40 percentage point to Linn County Auditor Joel Miller.

Van Lancker said defending voting rights, improving education, prioritizing housing, increasing broadband and protecting healthcare are issues important to him.

DeJear was the first Black candidate to win a major party nomination for a statewide office in Iowa when she became the Democratic nominee against Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate in 2018. She was defeated in the general election.