Debates Nixed; Get It Together, 1st District Democrats

A week ago it was reported that the 1st District Democrats central committee had scheduled five forums for the three Democratic Congressional candidates. Now? No more, though maybe still one, as the committee announced yesterday morning they would be cancelling the forums due to “scheduling conflicts.” Few in the 1st District is very happy about the cancellations and campaigns signaled frustration with the process. After speaking with numerous activists and campaign contacts in the 1st District, it appears communications problems and internal disagreements caused those attempting to organize the events to decide it was too much of a hassle. “There […]

Iowa Underdog Candidates Link Campaigns With Sanders’ Revolution

A crowd of thousands erupted in cheers for underdog U.S. Senate candidate Tom Fiegen when he took the stage at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner on Saturday night – not so much for him, but for the Bernie Sanders sign he hoisted into the air. Fiegen says it was unplanned theater, an impromptu gesture to emphasize his support of Sanders, whom he shares many of the same progressive policy priorities. The moment may stand as the highlight of his run during the primary, in front of the largest audience he’ll likely stand before. Fiegen joins Gary Kroeger, one of three Democrats […]

Monday Power Ranking: 1st District – Democrats

Iowa’s 1st Congressional District is home to one of the most fascinating primaries in the country. With Rod Blum widely seen as the country’s most endangered Republican incumbent, Democrats are eager to retake Bruce Braley’s old seat. Here’s how we see the race shaping up right now: 1. Monica Vernon The second place finisher from 2014 and Jack Hatch’s running mate maintains her front-runner status for 2016, but just barely. Patel’s fundraising abilities won’t make this an easy race for Vernon. Fortunately for Vernon, she has the strong support of Emily’s List behind her – she was the first endorsed […]

Former SNL Actor Gary Kroeger Enters Iowa’s 1st District Race

Gary Kroeger made it official last night: he is a candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, set to face Monica Vernon, Ravi Patel and possibly Swati Dandekar for the Democratic nomination. He announced his campaign to a crowd of supporters in Cedar Falls last night. Kroeger is looking to position himself as the most progressive option in the race. “I am an unapologetic, lifelong progressive and a proud lifelong Democrat,” the father of two sons said in a release. “Many recognize the need for a new kind of leader in Washington yet rely on the same pool and the same […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Rubio, Gary Kroeger and Ankeny Dems

Good morning readers! A lot happened in the political world this week in Iowa. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa-based topics: Marco Rubio Book Signing in West Des Moines Over the lunch hour on Friday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio stopped by the West Des Moines Barnes and Noble to sign copies of his book, “American Dreams.” He got a good crowd, with well over 150 people standing in line. He mostly chatted briefly with each person as he signed their book, not making any major speech at the event. Some notable observations:

Vernon’s In. Former SNL Actor and More May Join Race for Congress in IA-01

Less than three months after Rod Blum’s election to Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, Democrats are lining up to get another crack at the Democratic-leaning seat. Cedar Rapids businesswoman Monica Vernon announced her second bid on Thursday. Vernon enters the race in a much stronger position than she did last time, when she was a little-known city councilwoman facing questions about her past Republican affiliation. Her presence on the Democrats’ statewide ticket quieted that narrative, and it also introduced her to activists and donors around the state.