Christie Vilsack, the former First Lady of Iowa, has weighed in on Democrats’ effort to win a seat in the U.S. Senate with her endorsement today of Theresa Greenfield.
“With all the gridlock and mudslinging in Washington, Theresa Greenfield is exactly the kind of commonsense leader Iowans need fighting for our families in the Senate,” said Christie Vilsack, Tuesday in a statement.
It’s one more high-profile endorsement for Greenfield, who has seen most of party leadership quickly coalesce around her candidacy to take on Joni Ernst. The Iowa contest should prove to be a top national target for Democrats as they deal with a limited map to take back control of the Senate.
“Christie Vilsack has spent her career as a public servant, a champion for education and a fighter for Iowans, and I’m humbled to have her support in our campaign for Senate,” said Greenfield, in a statement. “Christie has dedicated her life to educating our kids and improving literacy to unlock opportunity, and I’ll never lose sight of the importance of that mission. In the Senate, I’ll be proud to follow Christie’s example as we work to invest in our schools, expand access to quality education, and give all Iowans the fair shot they deserve.”
Since leaving Washington, D.C., where Vilsack served as senior advisor for international education at the U.S. Agency for International Development, Vilsack has remained active in Democratic politics, campaigning in 2016 on behalf of Hillary Clinton and in 2018 for gubernatorial candidate Fred Hubbell.
Vilsack also helped boost candidates for the Iowa Legislature, campaigning for a Henry County Democrat in 2018 — the Southeast Iowa county that helped propel her husband, Tom Vilsack, to be elected governor of Iowa in 1998.
To square-off against Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in the general election, Greenfield first must win her primary race.
Currently, Des Moines businessman Eddie Mauro and Indianola attorney Kimberly Graham also are in the race. Michael Franken, a retired Navy admiral, is expected to formally launch his campaign next week.
“Theresa knows that we’re strongest when we have a government and an economy that gives every Iowan a fair shot, and she won’t be afraid to stand up to the special interests to fight for our policies like investing in our education system, bringing down the cost of health care and prescription drugs, and strengthening our agricultural economy,” Vilsack said.
Greenfield, president of a family-owned real estate company in Des Moines, also was endorsed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, AFSCME Council 61, EMILY’s List, and has received donations from Iowans in all 99 counties.
By Elizabeth Meyer