SIOUX CITY — With just over three months to go before Iowa’s June 2 primary election, Mike Franken says the race for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate is about to move into a higher gear.
Franken, a retired Naval officer who lives in Sioux City, said he fully expects to defeat three other Democratic candidates, earning the right to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in the fall.
While he’s collected less in campaign contributions than at least two of his three Democratic opponents, Franken said he’s got the right message to prevail in the primary over Theresa Greenfield, Eddie Mauro and Kimberly Graham.
Franken said he’s the ideal Democrat to oppose Ernst, since he has military experience to match hers. He noted he also comes from a working class rural background and knows how the levers of power work in Washington, D.C.
In fundraising, Greenfield, a businesswoman and former congressional candidate, dwarfs the field. She raised $1.6 million for the final three months of 2019, in the most recent quarterly reporting period for the Federal Election Commission. Greenfield, who is favored by the Senate Democrats’ political arm, brought in $3.35 million for the year, and after paying campaign expenses, ended Dec. 31 with $2.16 million in cash.
Franken, raised $133,405 for the final quarter and $283,719 for the year, and has $124,786 cash on hand.
Graham, an Indianola attorney, did not file a fourth quarter report, and the Federal Elections Commission sent her campaign a notice of a need to file. She ended the third quarter with $20,153 cash on hand.
Also on Monday, which was the first day in a three-week period in which candidates for federal office can officially file campaign papers, Graham took that filing step.
Mauro’s most recent public campaign event was in Davenport with union supporters on Sunday, as he is out working to land supporters. Mauro tweeted,“They are concerned about the same issues that impact all Americans – the environment, healthcare, education, economic security, safe communities, affordable housing & much more.”
“This is an example of good government. There is a role for big government,” he said.
Franken said the current political culture, led at the top by President Donald Trump, is bereft in terms of decency and honesty. He wants to be part of making public policy in a way that’s infused with honesty in addressing longstanding problems.
“Probity of character transcends all…It is all about character. Why are we so decrepit?” Franken said.