Three candidates running Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Iowa

Abby Finkenauer, Michael Franken, and Glenn Hurst are running in the June 7 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in Iowa. The incumbent is Chuck Grassley(R), who was first elected in 1980.

Finkenauer represented Iowa’s 1st Congressional District from 2018 to 2021. At the time of her election to the U.S. House, Finkenauer was, at age 29, the second-youngest woman to be elected to the U.S. Congress. She has campaigned on term limits, saying members of Congress should not serve for more than 12 years. Finkenauer said, “when January 6 happened, that’s where everything changed for me. Because I saw as we had somebody sitting there, at that point for 45 years, Senator Grassley pushed conspiracies about the election. Not even talk about the truth and actually, you know, bring people together after that moment.”

Franken is a retired three-star U.S. Navy Admiral. He ran in the 2020 Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and lost to Theresa Greenfield. Franken has campaigned on protecting voting rights and expanding federal programs for older Iowans, including Medicare. Franken has said, “My family used military, my brother-in-law and myself, to go to college and do bigger things than what rural Lebanon, Iowa offered. My broad perspective is a product of exposure.” Franken said he appeals to, “that middle segment who want logical, pragmatic, smart, dedicated, national servants to work for them. Leader servants. I believe I’m that person.”.

Hurst is a family physician who also serves as the chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Rural Caucus. He has run on Medicare for All and investing in rural America. Hurst said he is “a progressive candidate in this race that is different from the other candidates” because he supports Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. He said candidates in Iowa have lost because “they didn’t appeal to that desire for change.”