The second public legislative endorsement of the Iowa Caucus goes to the same candidate who received the first: Senator Cory Booker. State Representative Jennifer Konfrst of Windsor Heights made her choice of Booker known today in a short video message.

“Cory is exactly what our country needs right now,” Konfrst said. “He has the perfect mix of heart and fight, and he has policy positions that will lift our country up and unite us as a nation.”

Konfrst joins her colleague Representative Amy Nielsen of North Liberty in backing Booker. They’re the only two publicly announced legislative endorsers so far, and it’s noteworthy that the first two endorsements from female legislators have gone to Booker.

One of four women who flipped Republican suburban districts in high-profile contests in the Des Moines metro in 2018, Konfrst won the seat previously held by the Republican House Majority Leader (he moved to a safer district after Konfrst decided to challenge him again after her narrow 2016 loss). She’s also a professor of public relations and strategic political communication at Drake University.

Booker only visited Iowa once in 2018, but he was particularly engaged behind the scenes in assisting down-ballot Democratic campaigns. The Booker network was extremely helpful in funding Democrats’ successful local races here, directing about $375,000 to various Iowa candidates. Several staffers affiliated with Booker were placed on Iowa campaigns.

That help has extended into this year. Booker helped raise over $40,000 for Eric Giddens’ special election in Cedar Falls last month.

On the campaign trail, Booker often talks about how Democrats need to not just win back the White House, but many state legislatures across the country if he’s to actually get his agenda passed. Konfrst alluded to that partnership in her video.

“When I first met Cory in October of 2018, I knew he was the real deal,” Konfrst said. “He knows the importance of building our party from the bottom up and everywhere in between. And he knows that the work we do at the Iowa Legislature impacts the lives of everyday Iowans, and he wants to help.”

Konfrst was one of several legislators who participated on a panel in Des Moines during Booker’s first visit to Iowa as a presidential candidate. His campaign team, which is one of the largest in the state, has aggressively courted key elected officials and influential activists. Booker has been to Iowa three times this year, and just opened a campaign headquarters in Urbandale.

 

by Pat Rynard
Photo by Julie Fleming
Posted 4/22/19

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