Meet Iowa Democrats’ All-Female Tickets

When voters go to the polls in the Northeast Iowa counties of Allamakee and Clayton this year, this is what they’ll see in the Democratic column of their ballot: President: Hillary Clinton U.S. Senate: Patty Judge Congress: Monica Vernon State Senate: Jan Heikes State House: Patti Ruff Voters in Marion and Dubuque will see similar all-female tickets from the Democrats. In Marion, Senator Liz Mathis and State House candidate Molly Donahue are on the ballot. In Dubuque, Senate President Pam Jochum and Representative Abby Finkenauer fill out the down-ballot slots. Those three districts make up a particularly historic ballot for […]

Monica Vernon Gets Ground Game Assist From Progressive Turnout Project

Democrats will be getting some extra ground forces in their battle to flip Iowa’s 1st District back to their control. The Progressive Turnout Project is launching a full field operation to assist Democrat Monica Vernon in her campaign against Republican Congressman Rod Blum. They already have more than ten organizers on the ground in the district, with plans to add more between now and the election. The 1st District is seen by Democrats nationally as one of their best chances for a pick-up, and key to the party’s chances of retaking the House (no longer a complete impossibility with Trump […]

A Day On The Trail With Monica Vernon

Monica Vernon’s Memorial Day started like many other Iowans: doing a little bit of yard work. She picked several pink peonies from her garden to fill a vase to welcome home her youngest daughter, Eleanor, flying in later in the day. That was about all there was time for, though, as her campaign manager arrived to her Cedar Rapids house around 7:15 AM, lattes in hand, to head out for a morning of campaigning. Middle daughter Frances, also visiting home during Memorial Day, offered to drive. Vernon has centered much of her second run for the 1st Congressional District around her […]

EMILY’s List Ad Nearly Word-For-Word From Monica Vernon’s “Action Alert”

  Monica Vernon is getting some help in her campaign for the Democrats’ 1st District nomination. EMILY’s List, which has endorsed Vernon, is running a new ad under part of their Women Vote Project that looks to elect pro-choice female candidates. Women Vote is organized as a Super PAC, so it can’t coordinate with an official campaign. However, the transcript for the ad is nearly word-for-word from a specific section near the bottom of  Vernon’s website labeled “Democratic Action Alert.” Here’s the ad from Women Vote: This is my transcript from it: Democrat Monica Vernon: She knows seniors have paid […]

A Day On The Trail With Pat Murphy

Iowa Starting Line will be doing a series of posts where we follow along a major primary candidate for most of a day as they campaign. We hope it gives a different, unique look into who the man or woman running for office is, beyond just their stump speeches and debate points. We followed Pat Murphy for a day the weekend before last: Pat Murphy began his Saturday early in the morning, serving up a hot meal to the needy at 7:30 AM at the Labor Harvest food shelter near downtown Dubuque. It’s a volunteer service he’s done for over […]

At Forums Democrats Spar Over Labels In 1st District, Mostly Agree In 3rd District

Tornadoes to the southwest of Des Moines threatened to cut short the 3rd District Democrats’ forum in Johnston on Wednesday night, but the candidates in the room were at least all blowing in the same direction on policy issues. Meanwhile, the 1st District forum proved a much stormier affair with Pat Murphy constantly pressing Monica Vernon on her past Republican Party affiliation. The difference in tone and discussion was sharp between the 1st and 3rd candidates. It was clear there’s some real animosity between the two 1st District rivals who battled in the 2014 primary as well. The 3rd District […]

Monica Vernon and Jim Mowrer Outraise Incumbents Rod Blum and David Young

Iowa looks to play an important role in control over the U.S. House of Representatives this November. If 2016’s 1st Quarter fundraising reports are any indication, Republicans face some real problems in the Hawkeye State. Iowa’s two most-vulnerable incumbents, Republican first-termers Rod Blum and David Young put up smaller fundraising totals than some of their potential Democratic opponents. In Iowa’s 1st District, Monica Vernon reported raising $335,052 in the 1st Quarter. Blum raised $292,991 this quarter. This marks the fourth quarter in a row that Vernon has outraised Blum. The incumbent Republican still enjoys a cash-on-hand advantage of $1,273,400 to Vernon’s $774,631, […]

Debates Nixed; Get It Together, 1st District Democrats

A week ago it was reported that the 1st District Democrats central committee had scheduled five forums for the three Democratic Congressional candidates. Now? No more, though maybe still one, as the committee announced yesterday morning they would be cancelling the forums due to “scheduling conflicts.” Few in the 1st District is very happy about the cancellations and campaigns signaled frustration with the process. After speaking with numerous activists and campaign contacts in the 1st District, it appears communications problems and internal disagreements caused those attempting to organize the events to decide it was too much of a hassle. “There […]

DCCC Sees Monica Vernon As Strongest Candidate In 1st District

There’s still four months to go in the Democratic primary for the 1st District, but party leaders seem to see Monica Vernon beginning to pull away in the race. Late last week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named Vernon to their targeted Red To Blue candidate program, a list of their top prospects in the country to retake Republican districts. Vernon’s inclusion on the list should indicate to donors and activists in Iowa and nationally that Democratic House leaders have settled on which person they prefer to take on Rod Blum in the general election. Considering Democrats view Iowa’s 1st […]

Monday Power Ranking: 1st District – Democrats

Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is home to one of the most fascinating primaries in the country. With Rod Blum widely seen as the country’s most endangered Republican incumbent, Democrats are eager to retake Bruce Braley’s old seat. Here’s how we see the race shaping up right now: 1. Monica Vernon The second place finisher from 2014 and Jack Hatch’s running mate maintains her front-runner status for 2016, but just barely. Patel’s fundraising abilities won’t make this an easy race for Vernon. Fortunately for Vernon, she has the strong support of Emily’s List behind her – she was the first endorsed […]