State Representative Abby Finkenauer got a big boost in her quest to take on Republican Rod Blum in Iowa’s 1st Congressional District today. EMILY’s List, the major political advocacy group that helps elect pro-choice women, endorsed Finknauer today.
“Abby’s record stands in stark contrast with a Trump ‘yes man’ like Rep. Rod Blum, who supported the catastrophic bill to take health care away from an estimated 23 million people and has called the investigation into Russian interference with the American election ‘political theatrics,’” said Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List. “The working families of Iowa’s 1st Congressional District need someone who will put their best interests first in Washington. That is why EMILY’s List is so excited to endorse Abby.”
The backing comes at an important time for Finkenauer as the Democratic field for the 1st District continues to develop. Two potential strong candidates are eyeing the primary – Thomas Heckroth and Stacey Walker – and could make their own decisions soon. Endorsements like these often come at just such a time, this one likely aimed to show that Finkenauer will have a significant fundraising advantage for next year’s primary.
EMILY’s List backed Monica Vernon in the 2016 primary, but stayed out of the 2014 one when there were three female contenders. Democrats faced a five-candidate primary in 2014 with Pat Murphy (who won the primary, lost the general), Vernon, Swati Dandekar, Anesa Kajtazovic and Dave O’Brien. Vernon and Murphy squared off against each other in 2016, with Vernon winning the primary and losing the general.
Courtney Rowe has been running in the 1st District primary for a few months now, and George Ramsey of Cedar Rapids filed papers late last week to do so as well. State Senator Jeff Danielson and Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson are reportedly still considering a run themselves, though they’re seen as less-likely to compete if others enter the race.
Finkenauer is running on a strong appeal to working-class voters, highlighting her upbringing in a union family in Dubuque. She’s been campaigning against Blum’s support of the AHCA legislation, but has also remained visible in her work in the Iowa Legislature in speaking out against the problems with DHS and the recent deaths of two young children in foster homes.
by Pat Rynard