Drawing heavily on her life experiences growing up in a working-class family, Dubuque State Representative Abby Finkenauer officially entered the 1st Congressional District race today. She’s currently in her second term in the Iowa House, and at age 28, would become one of the youngest members of Congress is her candidacy is successful. Her campaign website is live and has several videos of her media appearances and speeches.
“I grew up in a working class family. This is personal,” Finkenauer said in a press release this morning. “This is my family; these are my friends and my neighbors. From these amazing people, I learned the value of public service and giving back to the community. My family taught me that when there is work to be done or a problem to solve you always step up and say ‘yes.’ Now, I’m saying yes to stepping up for working families in Washington.”
The daughter of a union pipefitter/welder and a schoolteacher, Finkenauer’s campaign looks to take aim at Republican incumbent Rod Blum over his record on economic issues. She’s repeatedly called out Republicans in Congress and the Iowa Statehouse for claiming to support working families while passing laws that hurt their paychecks.
“I stood up to the Republican majority in Des Moines and their anti-worker agenda,” Finkenauer said. “I was proud to be a voice for the 180,000 public servants who were silenced in the workplace. I was proud to stand up for working men and women – like my father – when their workers’ compensation was gutted. I fought against massive corporate giveaways at the expense of programs for working families. Now, I plan to take this fight to Washington to ensure the hard-working people of the first district have a champion once again in Washington.”
The 1st District covers about half of Eastern Iowa, including Dubuque, Cedar Falls/Waterloo and Cedar Rapids. Blum is a two-term Republican who narrowly won his first election in 2014. He was reelected by a larger margin last year, 53.7% to 46.1% over Monica Vernon. While Iowa’s 1st District used to be considered the state’s most Democratic-leaning seat, Donald Trump’s victory there changed that assumption as he flipped many blue collar voters to the Republican ticket. Now Iowa’s 1st, 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts are about the same in terms of base competitiveness.
Blum had been facing increasing criticism in recent weeks for not holding town hall forums during the debate over the Affordable Care Act. He just recently began scheduling forums again, though attendees will have their IDs checked at the door to see if they’re residents of the district.
Finkenauer kicks off her campaign today with a five-city tour that ends in the small Northern Dubuque County town of Sherrill, where she was born and raised during her early childhood.
Her full announcement day schedule is below:
Dubuque Union Labor Temple
1610 Garfield Ave
3050 12th St SW
Main Street Tour
Tour to begin at corner of 1st St and Main
Main Street Tour
Tour begins at Black Hawk County Democratic Headquarters
307 E 4th Street
Meet and Greet with Abby Finkenauer
5090 Sherrill Rd
DOORS OPEN AT 6:30PM
by Pat Rynard