A Look At Thomas Heckroth And His 1st District Run

Thomas Heckroth has a constant reminder of his small-town roots at home: his goldendoodle puppy, “Waverly,” named after the Bremer County town he grew up in. Back in 2006 he knocked doors in that county and nearby ones for his father’s successful run for state senate. Now he’s back in Iowa, following ten years out of the state for school and working in Tom Harkin’s office and in the private sector in New York, to run for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District. “Serving the community and your country has been in my family for a long time,” Heckroth explained to […]

Fred Hubbell Officially Launches Gubernatorial Bid – See The Video

Des Moines businessman and philanthropist Fred Hubbell made it official today: he’s running for governor. He had started up an exploratory committee back in late May, and has been mostly been working behind the scenes the past two months with his campaign team to prepare a launch and flesh out their operation. He’s slowly introduced himself to activists at a handful of Democratic events, but hasn’t participated in any forums yet or embarked on a statewide trip. Hubbell marked his announcement with a kick-off video, which shows him discussing Iowa’s economic opportunities with small business owners and workers, often with […]

Everyone Is Running For Everything In Iowa In 2018

Just as reliably as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, not a week goes by in Iowa politics without a new candidate running for this or that major office. Iowa Democrats have about 22 declared or strongly-considering candidates for governor and the three Republican-held congressional districts. The field for every race has continued to grow this summer, though we may be finally nearing the end of the announcement phase. It’s an interesting parallel to the huge, 17-candidate Republican presidential primary field in 2016. Out of power for a while now, there’s fewer influential power-brokers or […]

Senate Vote On E15 Could Be Early Test For 2020 Democrats In Iowa

An upcoming vote on a little-known EPA rule on E15 ethanol could pose an early first test for potential presidential candidates looking to come through Iowa. The U.S. Senate’s Environmental and Public Works committee will soon consider the Consumer and Fuel Retailer Choice Act, which allows E15 fuel to be sold during the summer months. Renewable fuel advocates see it as a key priority for expanding ethanol usage. Currently, you can only sell E15 for eight and a half months out of the year. The issue has to do with Reid vapor pressure restrictions, which sees fuel evaporation rates climb […]

Bernie Sanders’ Progressive Movement Lives On, Grows In Iowa

You could have mistaken the packed hall of Citizens for Community Improvement’s annual gathering yesterday for one of the larger Bernie Sanders rallies during the 2016 Iowa Caucus. Or you might have thought it was the Democratic Party’s state convention (it was held in the same room) – except this might have had more people. Well over 1,000 progressive activists filled the chairs for Bernie Sanders’ afternoon keynote address, but it was nearly just as crowded for the early morning issue advocacy training sessions. Saturday’s event highlighted the exponential growth that progressive advocacy groups like CCI have seen since the […]

Businesswoman Leann Jacobsen Considers Run Against Steve King

One of the longstanding frustrations of moderate Republicans and some independents in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District isn’t so much the incendiary things Steve King says; it’s instead what local issues he isn’t talking about. While King is complaining on Twitter about immigrants and touting far-right European political movements, small town economies in Western Iowa are struggling. Now Leann Jacobsen, a Spencer city councilwoman whose expertise is building up small business communities in Northwest Iowa, is thinking about challenging King in 2018. “I have 30 years of business experience which provides a lot of passion around seeing business succeed, from start-ups […]

Democrats Failing To Make The Case Against Joni Ernst

Despite the national outrage over Senate Republicans’ healthcare bill, Senator Joni Ernst hasn’t suffered much fallout in her popularity numbers in Iowa, James Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette reported yesterday. Looking at the Morning Consult Senate Approval Rankings that polls every senator, Ernst’s approval rating has remained steady at 47% from September 2016 to April of this year and now this July. Her disapproval number is actually down two points from April, though that’s within the margin of error. Most senators around the country have seen their approval rating drop during the contentious healthcare debate. This is a problem for […]

Nate Boulton Shines Light On Real Iowans Hurt By Mental Health Cuts

The drastic budget cuts to mental healthcare programs implemented by Governor Kim Reynolds and her predecessor look awfully bad on paper. But what are some of the real-life impacts that actual Iowans are seeing in their day-to-day lives? That’s something State Senator Nate Boulton sought to find out and highlight this week with a roundtable discussion aimed at uncovering the fallout of Reynolds’ actions. “We’re at a time where Iowa’s revenue is stable and growing, and yet we’re seeing round after round of budget cuts,” Boulton said. “These problems don’t go away by cutting services. The problems still exist and […]

More Iowa GOP Leaders Want Ben Sasse Banned From Iowa

If Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse plans on coming back to Iowa, he may want to plan a detour on a different route than the usual I-80 one. Republican Pottawattamie County chair Jeff Jorgensen declared today that the neighbor-state senator should stay far away from his county, home to Council Bluffs. “LET ME MAKE THIS AS CLEAR AS I CAN,” Jorgensen wrote in all-caps on his personal Facebook page this morning. “NEBRASKA SENATOR BEN SASSE IS NOT WELCOME IN POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY, NOR WILL HE EVER BE INVITED TO SPEAK TO POTTAWATTAMIE COUNTY REPUBLICANS!” In the Facebook post, Jorgensen also shared a […]

Abby Finkenauer Raises $155,000+ In Quarter For 1st District

State Representative Abby Finkenauer brought in an impressive fundraising haul for her first reporting quarter as a candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, a key swing seat that Democrats hope to retake in 2018. Her campaign told Starting Line they raised over $155,000 from over 550 donors, the majority of which were in Iowa, this quarter. Finkenauer, 28, a two-term Democratic state legislator from Dubuque, officially announced her candidacy back on May 3. The Northeast Iowa 1st District seat, which includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo and Dubuque, has been heavily targeted by national and state Democrats since Republican Rod Blum won […]