“I’m Abby Finkenauer, and I’m running for U.S. Senate because Iowa—and our Democracy—are worth fighting for,” the 32-year-old Democratic candidate said on social media as she announced her run for the seat.
“I’m running to make sure that Iowans and, quite frankly, our country has someone sitting in the United States Senate representing them and working for them every day who actually understand working families,” the former state lawmaker added.
Originally from Iowa’s blue-collar, Finkenauer blamed seven-term Grassley and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in her campaign video for turning their back on Democracy as a group of protesters breached the U.S. Capitol earlier this year.
“They were silent when it was attacked,” the candidate claimed. “You see, it’s politicians like Senator Grassley and Mitch McConnell who should know better, but are so obsessed with power that they oppose anything.”
Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) following the Jan. 6 incident have pushed the Justice Department and the FBI for answers about what the agencies knew prior to the incident, the actions they took to address concerns, whether threat assessments were conducted about the risk of violence, the agencies’ role in responding to the incident, and the agencies’ prosecutorial response following the event.
Finkenauer also accused Grassley of showing too much loyalty towards former President Donald Trump and supporting claims that there was voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“The fact that he did not call out those lies as they were happening in our state, as they were happening across the country … it’s so disappointing,” Finkenauer stated.
Grassley, an 87-year-old longtime politician with name recognition and deep support in Iowa, has said he will announce by November whether he will seek an eighth term, though he talks regularly with campaign aides and reported this month having $2.5 million in his campaign account as of the end of June.
Finkenauer, despite losing her House seat in 2020 after one term, remains a youthful prospect in the Iowa Democratic Party, which has struggled to produce a new generation for statewide office. Along with 38-year-old Democrat Dave Muhlbauer, a farmer who previously announced his bid for Grassley’s seat, she is hoping Grassley’s slipping poll numbers provide an opening to revive a shrinking segment of the party’s once diverse electorate: rural voters.
She began her political career as a member of the Iowa House of Representatives from 2015 to 2019. Her rise within the Democratic Party began when she successfully won her first term in the U.S. House by defeating incumbent Republican Rep. Rod Blum in 2018. She lost her bid for reelection in 2020 to Republican Ashley Hinson by fewer than three percentage points.
Iowa has leaned toward Republicans in recent years and Trump easily carried the state in 2016 by ten points and roughly eight during the 2020 elections.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee doesn’t consider Iowa among its top targets, though it is monitoring in the event Grassley doesn’t seek reelection. If Grassley runs, almost all political operatives in Iowa believe the seat will remain safely in Republican control.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News