Des Moines coach and businessman Eddie Mauro is launching his run for the U.S. Senate today, aiming to be Democrats’ nominee to take on Senator Joni Ernst next November. Mauro’s been traveling the state for several months in advance of a possible candidacy, building up a campaign team, and showing up at many caucus events. His new website is here.
Mauro holds events today in Carroll, Fort Dodge, Ames, and Des Moines as part of his roll-out. He begins the race with several endorsements, including from state representatives Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs and Ako Abdul-Samad of Des Moines.
“Washington remains broken and it’s time for a change, and I am the best candidate to take on and defeat Joni Ernst,” Mauro said in a press release. “I have grown up, worked, played, and raised a family in Iowa along with the same people I will represent in the U.S. Senate. I spent many summers on the family farm near Carroll, IA and taught and coached in Seymour, Iowa. My company supports small business owners in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. We need a United States Senator that will fight for Iowa’s middle-class families, our family farms, the small businesses on Main Street, protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for all Iowans and invest in our renewable energy economy to create jobs and combat the climate chaos and challenge before us,”
While most Iowa politics watchers agree that Ernst will be a formidable incumbent, this is still just her first reelection. Recent Morning Consult polling pegged Ernst at a 40% approval, 37% disapproval rating.
Riding into office in 2014 on her folksy charm and a Republican wave, Ernst has been loyal to Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump’s agenda, working her way into Senate Republican leadership recently. Her reelection hopes should be closely tied to Trump’s performance, and the lengthy trade war may slowly erode support for the Republican ticket in the rural areas of Iowa where Ernst is strongest.
Targeting the Iowa seat is also one of necessity for Democrats after key recruits for other Senate races in more conservative states took a pass. There’s a limited number of places where Democrats can realistically pick up Senate seats to flip the chamber, and Iowa starts off the cycle at least as one of them.
Mauro will have competition for the nomination. Des Moines attorney Kimberly Graham got into race last week, and most Iowa politics watchers still expect Des Moines businesswoman Theresa Greenfield to launch a campaign. J.D. Scholten has also yet to decide his plans for 2020. Both Greenfield and Mauro ran in the 3rd Congressional District primary last year, which now-Congresswoman Cindy Axne won. Mauro was financially competitive in that race, raising over $800,000 for the campaign (over $500,000 of which was his own money).
Mauro has coached local youth baseball for many years, including coaching the Dowling High School team to state championships in 1999 and 2001. He was a school teacher in Seymour and Des Moines before starting his own insurance firm that specializes in auto, home and business insurance.
He and his well-known family hail from Des Moines’ South Side, and Mauro serves on the South Suburban YMCA board and is a member of the Iowa Catholic Conference. Mauro has also been involved in local progressive organizing groups in Central Iowa.
In his 2018 congressional campaign, Mauro highlighted his time a teacher in one of his TV ads:
Earlier this year, Mauro helped start up the Midwest Victory PAC, which has been running digital ads that are critical of Ernst. That organization helped fill in some of the messaging pieces on Ernst while the Democratic field of candidates eventually developed.
by Pat Rynard