……Reuters had a story recently about Iowa’s first Congressional District. The story began in a bar. They interviewed Jesse Oberbroeckling who worked for John Deere. Reuters may be owned by the British now, but it began its reporting in nineteenth century Germany. This story about northeastern Iowa politics, German-Americans in Iowa, and German-American politicians resonates with Reuters’ origins.
State Representative Abby Finkenauer https://www.abbyfinkenauer.com/ might get elected. A twenty-eight year old, she needs to beat John Heckroth in the June 5 primary. She should do that. Money is a clue. On January 1, Finkenauer had $730,000 for her campaign. Heckroth had less than $200,000.
……Abby Finkenauer will need to defeat the incumbent Republican Rod Blum. Look at the presidential numbers for IA 01. Obama won by more than ten points in 2008 and 2012. Trump won by eight in 2016. Democrats are reasonably optimistic. Reuters’ story is about how union workers in the District were turning from Trump back to the Democrats.
……If union members are reconsidering, Abby Finkenauer fits. Her dad was a pipefitter. Her mom worked for the school department. One of her grandfathers was a fireman. She and her four older siblings all went to college, the first in their family to do that. She was elected to be a state representative at age 24.
Consider her neighbors. Iowa is, more or less, rectangular and has four congressional districts. Population distorts a little, but Iowa’s districts are each a quarter of the state. IA 01 is the northeast corner — bordered on the north by Minnesota and the east by Illinois. To her north, MN 01 has been held precariously by a Democrat now running for governor. Finkenauer’scounterpart candidate, Dan Feehan — veteran, teacher, Assistant Defense Secretary, is in a race considered to be a toss up. To her east is Cheri Bustos, a self-described pro choice Catholic Democrat who is so prototypical Poitico described her as the new face of the Democratic Party. Bustos is running for her fourth term.
……Abby AAAFFAFFFFFFFinkenauer is in distinguished company. Does she belong there?
……She got an early start. Beginning with her very own subscription to Newsweek, 10 year old Abby held her own in regular Sunday night political conversations with her union supporting father and Republican uncle. She participated in these conversations as if she was a grown up until she was very nearly a grown up.
A page in the state legislature, a page working for Congressman Jim Nussle, and eventually the state House Speaker’s Page, Abby Finkenauer used her family conversations to take a grown up view of the people she worked with. She understood the respect she needed to show while she also realized she could do the work. She was particularly grateful to be working at the statehouse in 2007 when the legislature voted to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
……After college graduation, Abby Finkenauer took on a grown up task. She spent nearly two years running for the state legislature. She cherishes the conversations she had with people as she went door to door campaigning for herself. The campaign itself, she thinks, was a right of passage, a process of becoming a genuine grown up taking on adult work.
……As a legislator, Abby Finkenauer did the work. She sought relief for people with college loans, urged that people be able to testify about legislative proposals via the internet, and fought to protect women’s right to control their bodies — asking publicly at age 26, why so many adult males wanted to control her body. Eventually, as the ranking member of the government oversight committee, she worked on privacy, public disclosure, and the regulation of lobbyists.
She is a grown up politician ready to take on Rod Blum. There is no better indication of how effective a grown up politician Abby Finkenaueris than the money she has raised for her campaign and her capacity to get the support of national Democrats.
……The incumbent has done himself no favors. He compounded an already low favorability rating by walking out of a television interview. Defending prescreening those admitted to his town halls, preventing those from out of the district from attending, he went off his game entirely when asked if he would accept donations from people outside the district.
……His irascible behavior reflects the trouble he is in. CEO and co-founder of a technology company, Tin Moon, he neglected to include information about the company or his holdings in his financial disclosures. Under an ethics obligation not to mix his political position with his private work, Blum allowed his legislative chief of staff to speak on the company website pretending to be a satisfied customer.
Many pundits considers this race to be a toss up. Others see it differently. Roll Call describes it as one of the five districts most likely to flip from Republican to Democrat.
……Many of the people of IA 01 are not satisfied customers. Nevertheless, IA 01 is not easy to flip. As effective a fund raiser as Abby Finkenauer https://www.abbyfinkenauer.com/ is, Blum has raised more. Help her compete. Help her win this toss up seat.
……Four states had primaries on May 15: PA, NE, ID, NE. ……First: An error in judgment on my part. I was wrong about NE 02. Not only was NE 02 competitive, but the candidate I thought was a shoo-in lost the primary. Activist Kara Eastman won the primary. …Second: Pennsylvania’s Congressional landscape is transformed as a result of Court imposed redistricting correcting the Republican gerrymander. Competitive races include (Dems listed first, competitive character of the District listed even before that):…Toss up PA 01 Investor and Philanthropist Scott Wallace v Incumbent Brian Fitzpatrick…Toss up PA 17 Incumbent Conor Lamb v Incumbent Keith Rothfus…Tilt D PA 04 State Rep Madeleine Deane v Investor Dan David…Tilt D PA 07 City Solicitor Susan Wild v County Commissioner and ex Olympic cyclist Marty Nothstein…Lean D PA 05 ex school board member Mary Gay Scanlan v ex Deputy Attorney General Pearl Kim…Likely D PA 06 Air Force Veteran ChrissyHoulahan v Attorney Greg McCauley…Likely D PA 08 Incumbent Matt Cartwright v Venture Capitalist John Crin…Lean R PA 16 ex boxer, ex marine, and attorney Ron DiNicola v Incumbent Mike Kelly…LIkely R PA 09 ex state Agriculture Secretary Denny Wolf v state Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser…Likely R PA 10 Minister and Air National Guard General George Scott v Incumbent Scott Perry