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Campaign Almanac for Tuesday, November 2, 2021
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Campaign Almanac for Tuesday, November 2, 2021

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A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Tuesday:

BRANSTAD ENDORSES GRASSLEY: Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad endorsed fellow Republican and longtime U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley. In an op-ed written for the Ames Tribune, Branstad referred to Grassley’s efforts during the 1980s farm crisis.

“All these years later, Chuck Grassley is still the best advocate Iowa could ask for when it comes to creating opportunity and opening markets for Iowa farmers, producers and job creators,” Branstad wrote.

The 88-year-old Grassley is running for his eighth six-year term in the U.S. Senate. He faces a primary challenge from attorney and state legislator Jim Carlin of Sioux City, and the Democratic primary includes four candidates.

UNION ENDORSES FINKENAUER: The Northwest Iowa Building Trades endorsed Abby Finkenauer in the Democratic primary for Iowa’s U.S. Senate race.

“Abby is the daughter of a union pipefitter-welder who knows working families and the policies that have our backs,” Northwest Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council president Craig Levine said in a news release from the Finkenauer campaign. “From the statehouse to Congress, she’s never backed down from fighting for our members and their families and we know she will continue to do the same in the U.S. Senate.”

Finkenauer is a former Congresswoman and state legislator from Cedar Rapids. The other Democrats in the primary are Sioux City veteran Michael Franken, Manning farmer Dave Muhlbauer, and Minden physician Glenn Hurst.

UNION ENDORSES MATHIS: SMART Workers Local 263 endorsed Liz Mathis in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District.

“Over her last decade in the (Iowa) Senate, Liz Mathis has time and again demonstrated her commitment to working Iowans,” SMART Local 263 business manager Russ Jaeger said in a news release from the Mathis campaign. “Not only does she have a 100% voting record from the Iowa Federation of Labor, she shows up for organized labor when our rights are under attack. We look forward to working with her when she’s elected to serve Iowans in Washington.”

Mathis is a state legislator and former TV journalist from Hiawatha. The 1st District incumbent is Republican U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, also a former state legislator and TV journalist, from Marion.

HART ENDORSES BOHANNAN: Former state senator and Wheatland Democrat Rita Hart on Tuesday endorsed Iowa City Democrat and state Rep. Christina Bohannan’s campaign for Iowa’s newly-drawn 1st Congressional District. The new district includes much of southeastern Iowa, including Clinton, Muscatine, Scott and Johnson counties.

Hart last year unsuccessfully ran for Iowa's open 2nd district U.S. House seat. She was narrowly defeated by only six votes, losing to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks in the closest U.S. House race in more than three decades.

Hart, in a statement, called Bohannan a “brilliant public servant whose Iowa common-sense is desperately needed in Washington.”

Democrat Dave Loebsack, who previously represented southeast Iowa in Congress for 14 years, has also endorsed Bohannan, as did Democratic U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne of West Des Moines.

MILLER-MEEKS EVALUATING OPTIONS: U.S. Rep. Miller-Meeks, in a statement last week, said she will be evaluating Iowa’s newly-drawn congressional districts “to determine my next steps, which I will be announcing shortly.’

Miller-Meeks’ home in Ottumwa was drawn in to Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, represented by Axne.

Miller-Meeks has raised speculation that she intends to run for Axne’s seat. She spent part of the day Monday introducing herself to Republican voters in Madison County, which is located in Axne’s district. Miller-Meeks over the weekend also attended an event in Des Moines for the Christian conservative group The Family Leader, and tweeted from the gala “I look forward to being in Des Moines soon!”

Axne has not officially declared whether she will seek re-election or run for Iowa governor.

 — By Lee-Gazette Des Moines Bureau

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