Democracy Action

Iowa Research

General information

Iowa has a very competitive U.S. Senate election. The incumbent running for re-election is Republican Joni Ernst. The Democratic nominee is Theresa Greenfield.

In addition, it has three competitive U.S. House districts where we are playing defense:

  • IA-01: Democratic incumbent Abby Finkenauer is running for re-election. She flipped this seat in 2018. The Republican nominee is Iowa House member Ashley Hinson.
  • IA-02: Democratic incumbent Dave Loebsack is retiring after 14 years. The Democratic nominee is Rita Hart. The Republican nominee is State Senator Mariannette Miller-Meeks.
  • IA-03: Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne is running for re-election. She flipped this seat in 2018. The Republican nominee is David Young, who previously held the seat until he was defeated in 2018.

…and one district that’s less competitive but, despite that, we still have a great candidate:

  • IA-04 is less competitive due to infamous incumbent Steve King losing his Republican primary to State Senator Randy Feenstra. But Democrats still have a very strong candidate in J.D. Scholten.
Iowa Congressional Delegation | Office of Governmental Relations

Democrats also have a very good shot at gaining control of Iowa’s state house, which would break the GOP trifecta of state government.

And finally, it is competitive (although likely not decisive) on the Presidential level.

Voter resources

Iowa Voter Assistance Hotline:
515-293-6860

Vote by mail deadline: Ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 2nd (the day before Election Day) and received by noon on Monday November 9th. The campaign recommends mailing ballots by October 24th, just to be safe.

Alternatively, ballots can be dropped off in person at the voter’s county auditor office during their regular hours.

Note that other “satellite” early voting locations in the voter’s county, in addition to the voter’s Election Day polling place, may not necessarily accept vote by mail ballot drop-offs. But if the voter surrenders their absentee ballot at these locations, they will be be able to vote in-person while they are there.

To see early voting locations for a voter:

  1. Go to www.iwillvote.com
  2. Select “I’m a resident of Iowa” in the state menu
  3. Click “Confirm where I’ll vote”
  4. Enter the voter’s address and ZIP code
  5. The nearest early voting locations for that voter will be displayed. Use the “<” and “>” buttons under the map to cycle between the options.

Additional Resources

Joe Biden talking points
Joe Biden

Joe Biden says we’re facing a serious threat that we have to fight together.

We need a president who will tell us the truth, who will take responsibility, and listen to medical experts. A president who will lead and be an example for the nation.

We have to do all we can to keep our families safe.

Joe says this crisis is a reminder that our country wasn’t built by Wall Street and CEOs, it was built by hardworking families, nurses, teachers and small businesses.

It’s time we raise wages to pay all working people a fair return on their work, create a fairer tax system, and ensure everyone and every child can access affordable, quality health care.

Español

Joe Biden dice que nos enfrentamos a una seria amenaza contra la que tenemos que luchar juntos.

Necesitamos un presidente que nos diga la verdad, que asuma la responsabilidad y escuche a los expertos médicos. Un presidente que liderará y será un ejemplo para la nación.

Tenemos que hacer todo lo posible para mantener a nuestras familias seguras.

Joe dice que esta crisis es un recordatorio de que nuestro país no fue construido por Wall Street y los directores ejecutivos (CEOs), fue construido por familias trabajadoras, enfermeras, maestros y pequeñas empresas.

Es hora de que aumentemos los salarios para pagar a todos los trabajadores un rendimiento justo por su trabajo, crear un sistema fiscal más justo y garanticemos que todos y cada niño puedan acceder a una atención médica accesible y de calidad.

Health Care

“Joe knows that health care is personal, and he believes that every American –regardless of zip code – should have access to affordable and quality health care. Joe wants families to have the peace of mind they deserve, and he’s going to build on the Affordable Care Act by giving Americans more choice, reducing health care costs, and making our health care system less complex to navigate.”

Build Back Better (Economy and Jobs)

“Joe has a plan to create millions of good-paying jobs and to give America’s working families the tools, choices, and freedom they need to build back better. Trump passed a big tax cut for the corporate special interests, and Joe’s going to turn our economy around and fight for middle class workers. That means helping small businesses come out the other side of this crisis stronger than ever, and holding corporate America accountable.”

Safe Reopening (Controlling the Pandemic)

“The challenge facing our schools is unprecedented, and Joe Biden believes that the decision about when to reopen safely should be made by state, tribal, and local officials, based on science and with the safety of students and educators in mind. We want to reopen schools safely, but only once cases keep coming down. Schools need clear, consistent, effective national guidelines, not mixed messages and political ultimatums.”

COVID-19 (General Questions)

“Joe’s been honest with the American people about what is necessary to beat this challenge, and knows that we are up to this task and that we will meet this challenge together as one America. Joe knows how to mount an effective crisis response and elevate the voices of scientists, public health experts, and first responders because he has done it before.”

Education

K-12 Education: “As president, Joe will support our educators by giving them the pay and dignity they deserve. He is committed to investing in all children from birth, so that regardless of their zip code, parents’ income, race, or disability, they are prepared to succeed in tomorrow’s economy.”

Higher education: “Joe believes that all hard-working Americans should have the chance to join or maintain their place in the middle class. He’s proposing a bold plan for education and training beyond high school, he’ll invest in community colleges and strengthen college as the reliable pathway.”

Climate Change

Environmental Justice: “Joe’s going to protect our environment and resources for all of us — that means protecting access to clean water, holding polluters accountable, and making sure our low-income communities benefit from the clean energy economy. He’ll fight pollution, which harms our natural world and overwhelmingly hurts people of color.”

Clean Energy: “Our nation is in a moment of crisis and we need to rebuild this country with clean energy jobs that get our workers back on the job. Joe knows we’ve got to build a more resilient, sustainable economy that preserves our natural resources for future generations.”

Police

“Joe’s got the experience we can trust to keep us safer. As a Senator, he wrote the Violence Against Women Act, and the Obama-Biden Administration increased funding to stop drug trafficking along the border. He wants to invest $300 million more into community policing to help bring us together and keep us safer.”

Immigration

“As President, Joe will make smart investments in border security, while Donald Trump has failed for four years with his empty promises on a wall that won’t keep us safe. Biden will stop the inhumane practice of separating families, improve the speed at which we hear asylum cases, reform our visa system, secure our borders and help DREAMers.”

Trump’s Wall

“Joe’s going to focus on investments in smart border security, and ensure we don’t keep wasting taxpayer money on a wall that doesn’t work.”

Veterans

Our Veterans: “Joe believes we have only one truly sacred obligation: to properly prepare and equip our troops when we send them into harm’s way, and to care for them and their families–both while they are deployed and after they return home. As the parents of a son who deployed to Iraq, Joe and Jill Biden understand the gravity of this promise.”

Military Families: “As parents of a service member who deployed to Iraq, Joe and Jill Biden understand that it’s not just military members who sign up to serve our nation, their families do too. They will ensure we keep our commitment to military families by relaunching and strengthening Joining Forces and improving support for caregivers of wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans.”

Taxes

“Trump’s had four years to help workers out — but instead, he passed big tax cuts for the corporate special interests. Joe will reverse Trump’s tax cuts for wealthy corporations and pursue a pro-American worker tax strategy to give our working families the fair shot they need to compete for jobs and market share.”

National Security

“Joe Biden believes that economic security is national security. As President, Joe will pursue a foreign policy for the middle class. To win the competition for the future against China, we must sharpen our innovative edge and unite the economic might of democracies around the world to stop abusive economic practices.”

Foreign Policy

“In a Biden administration, America will lead by example again, and rally the world to meet our common challenges that no one nation can face on its own — from climate change to combatting terrorism. He’ll strengthen America’s alliances and re-establish us as a leader on the world stage.”

Gun Violence

“Joe Biden knows that gun violence is a public health epidemic. That’s why he will pursue constitutional, common-sense gun safety policies that end our gun violence problem while respecting the Second Amendment.”

Unity Message

“Joe’s been clear from the first day of this campaign — he’s running to restore the soul of our nation, and unite us as a country once again. No matter where you come from, who you love, or who you pray to, in Joe Biden’s America, you’ll have an equal chance at success.”

More Information

About U.S. Senate candidate Theresa Greenfield
Theresa

Topline Background: 

  • Des Moines Businesswoman and Mom of four Theresa Greenfield is in a strong position to defeat Senator Joni Ernst in Iowa and flip the U.S. Senate.
  • Theresa is a scrappy farm kid. She grew up on a family farm, helping with the crop-dusting business and working to put herself through school. 
  • As Theresa and her husband were expecting their second child, he was killed in an accident at his job as a union electrical worker. As a young widow, times were tough but Social Security helped her stay out of poverty as a single mom. 
  • She overcame that personal tragedy and worked hard to provide for her family. Theresa eventually rose through the ranks to become president of an Iowa small business. 
  • Now, she’s running for U.S. Senate because Washington cares more about ultra-wealthy donors instead of finding solutions for everyday Iowans. She’s pledged not to accept a dime of corporate PAC money. 

Key Issues: 

  • Health Care: Theresa knows health care is a right — not a privilege. She’ll expand access to affordable care by strengthening the Affordable Care Act and take on big pharma to lower the cost of prescription drugs. 
  • Retirement Security: As a young widow with two young kids, Social Security helped keep Theresa and her family out of poverty. Unlike Senator Ernst and Mitch McConnell, Theresa will never lay a finger on Social Security. And she’ll always protect other vital earned benefits like Medicare 
  • Getting Big Money Out of Politics: Theresa is fighting to root out corruption and big money in politics. She’s pledged not to accept corporate PAC money and supports overturning Citizens United. She has a plan to ban corporate PACs, ban dark money and ban members of congress from becoming lobbyists. 
  • Jobs / Rural Opportunity: Theresa supports a living wage, investing in our workforce, fighting for women to have equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work, and making sure people have the skills and tools they need to succeed in the 21st century workplace. Growing up on her family farm, Theresa especially knows we have to invest in our rural communities to make sure they have the tools they need to thrive in the future, including more access to capital for small businesses and a new infrastructure package that rebuilds and improves our roads, bridges and rural broadband. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Theresa support Medicare for All? 

Theresa knows health care is a right — not a privilege. She’ll expand access to affordable health care by strengthening the Affordable Care Act with a public option and taking on big pharma to lower the cost of prescription drugs. She’ll always put Iowa first because she’s not accepting a dime of corporate PAC money. 

How will Theresa beat Joni Ernst? 

Theresa is a businesswoman, mother of four, and scrappy farm kid. She grew up rural on her family farm, put herself through school, and overcame personal tragedy when her first husband died while she had a young child and another on the way. She eventually rose to become president of a small Iowa business. She has the grit and toughness to compete for every vote, and will focus on issues that will help every Iowan like expanding health care, protecting Social Security, ending political corruption and creating good-paying jobs. She’s not accepting a dime of corporate PAC money. 

Does Theresa take corporate PAC money? 

Theresa does not accept a single dime from corporate PACs. She’s endorsed by End Citizens United and released her own plan to end political corruption by banning corporate PACs, banning dark money, overturning Citizens United and enacting a lifetime ban on members of congress becoming lobbyists. 

What happened with Theresa’s campaign manager faking signatures last year?

When Theresa learned the bad news, she acted with transparency, accountability and honesty immediately – even though it set her back. This year, she submitted over 20,000 signatures from all 99 counties. She’s working non-stop to build a strong grassroots team and you can always trust her to do the right thing. 

Background on Attacks on Theresa from the GOP:

Do you have a response to the attack ad from the NRSC going after Theresa’s record as a businesswoman – saying she racked up debt, lawsuits and hurt workers? 

  • These same exact attacks didn’t work in the primary – and they won’t work in the general election. Here’s why: 
  • Like many Iowans and businesses at the time, Theresa has been open about how one company she worked for fell victim to the national housing crisis caused by corporate greed on Wall Street. 
  • Theresa will be determined to hold the Big Banks accountable, unlike Senator Ernst who has taken over $2 million from Wall Street and voted to give $26 billion in tax breaks to big banks and dismantle consumer protections put in place after the financial crisis. 
  • Even more troubling, these attacks come as Iowans are facing record unemployment and small businesses are hurting – even though it is well-documented that the business Theresa worked at was a “victim” of the global financial crisis, which forced tens of thousands of similar homebuilders nationwide to shut down.
  • To put that kind of fallout from a global economic crisis on Theresa is extremely misleading and false – especially given she even losther own job – like many Iowans during the Great Recession. 

As a real estate developer, did Theresa kick small mom and pop shops to the curb to make way for a big multinational corporation? 

  • Their false attacks have been described as “incredibly misleading” and “grasping at straws.” 
  • These smears are designed to distract from Senator Ernst’s failed record of putting her big corporate PAC donors ahead of Iowa’s workers and small businesses.
  • The Apple Valley center renovation project was planned to improve and update the location – not to make room for a larger company. 
  • Theresa even worked with folks to make sure they had a smooth transition. And today, that location still supports many local small businesses. 
  • Theresa earned the trust of colleagues and local leaders over her successful business career, and she’ll use her experience running a small business to fight for small businesses and workers across Iowa. 

Does Theresa support a “death tax” that would hurt farmers? 

  • This is just the latest desperate attack from Mitch McConnell and his allies, after every poll since the primary has shown Theresa ahead of Senator Ernst.
  • Independent fact-checkers and studies have confirmed that the estate tax is only paid by the country’s “richest families” and repealing it would be a “windfall to heirs of the wealthiest estates.” 
  • Factcheck.org also found that overall this would only impact “less than 1 percent of the heirs of farm owners.” 
  • While Theresa will fight to put Iowa’s farmers, small businesses, and working families first, it’s Senator Ernst who voted to give tax breaks to big corporations and voted for a fossil fuel lobbyist to run the EPA, which issued 85 RFS waivers that devastated our farmers. 
  • And now that the EPA is considering 58 more of these waivers, Theresa is calling on EPA Administration Wheeler to resign immediately, which Ernst is refusing to call for.
  • Theresa is staying focused on the issues that matter most to Iowans, like making sure all Iowans can get health care, and holding Senator Ernst accountable for her broken promises to Iowa farmers and biofuels producers. 

The NRSC has run attack ads accusing Theresa of taking corporate PAC money. Is that true?

  • This latest false attack is more proof that the Ernst campaign is flailing as Theresa shatters fundraising records, every poll since the primary shows Theresa in the lead, and leading independent analysts at Politico and Inside Elections are shifting this race to a “Toss up.” 
  • Two separate independent fact-checkers have verified Theresa’s pledge to not accept one dime of corporate PAC donations: 
  • PolitiFact wrote that “Greenfield is accurate when she says she hasn’t taken corporate PAC money,” and the Cedar Rapids Gazette wrote that “the Greenfield campaign has received no direct contribution from corporate PACs.”
  • If anything, all these false and desperate attacks do is remind Iowans of Senator Ernst’s own shady dealings and campaign finance violations. 
  • Senator Ernst has taken more than $2 million in corporate PAC money. Her votes for the GOP tax bill and to confirm a fossil fuel lobbyist to run the EPA show how she consistently puts her corporate special interest donors ahead of hardworking Iowans in Washington. 
  • Iowa Starting Line reported that Ernst has a “pattern of flouting the law” on campaign finance issues. Her campaign had to pay the biggest civil penalty the FEC has ever brought against an Iowa politician after knowingly accepting illegal contributions in 2014. 
  • Last year, the Associated Press revealed how Senator Ernst had been illegally coordinating with a dark money group set up by her top political aides, and refuses to explain why she continues to work with the fundraising consultant at the center of her dark money scandal. 

More information

About U.S. House (IA-01) incumbent Abby Finkenauer
CongresswomanFinkenauer.jpg

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer represents Iowa’s 1st District, and in 2018 became the youngest woman ever to flip a Congressional district red-to-blue.

Abby was born and raised in Dubuque, and learned the value of public service from her working-class family. Her father was a union pipefitter-welder and her mom worked for Dubuque Community Schools, and Abby’s family taught her that when there’s a problem to solve you always jump in to help. In 2014, she became one of the youngest representatives ever elected to represent Dubuque in the Iowa Legislature. 

Within weeks of being sworn into Congress in 2019, Abby wrote and passed bipartisan legislation to help rural small businesses, and throughout her first term has advanced policies to increase Buy-America protections, protect Iowa farmers and Iowa’s biofuel economy, lower prescription drug costs, and protect Iowans with pre-existing conditions. Abby will work with anyone who’s willing to help Iowa’s working families. In her time in Congress, she has sponsored 15 bipartisan bills, and 81 percent of her floor votes have been bipartisan. 

  • Effectiveness in Congress 
    • In just her first weeks in Congress, Abby introduced and passed bipartisan legislation to help rural small businesses compete for federal contracts—making her the first freshman lawmaker to pass a bill this term.
    • Abby is one of the most bipartisan members of Congress and isn’t afraid to work across the aisle if it will help Iowa’s working families. In Congress, she has sponsored 15 bipartisan bills, and 81 percent of her votes have been bipartisan. 
  • Coronavirus 
    • In March, Abby helped pass COVID-19 relief aid to secure billions of dollars in emergency aid for hospitals, frontline workers, and direct payments to working families across Iowa. 
    • Abby also voted to extend the Paycheck Protection Program and increase federal funding for COVID-19 testing nationwide. 
  • Infrastructure 
    • As the Vice-Chair of the House’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Abby helped pass the Moving Forward Act which will deliver $3.5 billion dollars to rebuild Iowa’s roads, bridges, and other key infrastructure. 
    • In Congress, Abby has strengthened “Buy America” and wage protections for workers and manufacturers to make sure American jobs and manufacturing stay right here at home. 
  • Small Businesses 
    • Abby is a proud member of the House’s Small Business Committee and is the Chairwoman of the Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and 
  • Entrepreneurship (RATE) Subcommittee. 
    • In just her first few weeks in office, she introduced and passed bipartisan legislation to help rural small businesses compete for federal contracts – making her the first freshman lawmaker to pass a bill during this term.
  • Agriculture and Farming 
    • In Congress, Abby has been a strong advocate for biofuels, which create good-paying jobs across Iowa, and introduced the bipartisan Biodiesel Tax Credit Extension Act so that farmers, refineries, and other industries can better plan their investments, grow their businesses, and pass savings on to consumers. 
    • Abby has also fought for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard, helped secure access to year-round E-15 fuel, stood up to the Administration on the abuse of small refinery waivers that undercut biofuels producers and threaten the livelihoods of Iowa farmers. 
  • Veteran’s Affairs 
    • Abby is the proud granddaughter of a World War II Purple Heart recipient, and in Congress has fought to increase access to healthcare services and economic opportunities for the nation’s veterans. 
    • In Congress, she’s worked to expand access to capital for veterans seeking to start small businesses and supports funding for the GI Bill while voting to give our nation’s service members much deserved pay raises. 
  • Healthcare 
    • Abby believes that health care is a right – not a privilege – and is dedicated to both strengthening the protections created by the Affordable Care Act for people with pre-existing conditions. 
    • Abby supports the creation of a public option to bring down the costs for everyone by increasing competition in the marketplace. Abby supports plans that allow those who like their current private insurance plan to keep their plans, while also allowing anyone to buy-in to a Medicare-like plan.
    • In Congress, Abby successfully amended and passed a historic bill to lower the cost of prescription drugs, worked to expand Medicare coverage for Iowans, and fought to allow Medicare to negotiate drug pricing. 
    • Abby also introduced and passed bipartisan legislation to permanently fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health insurance to 10 million children across the country, and has fought to make sure that our rural communities have hospitals that stay open and an adequate number of doctors.
  • Seniors 
    • In Congress, Abby has stood up repeatedly against efforts to cut Medicare and Social Security, and has backed legislation that would increase benefits and strengthen the solvency of Social Security. 
    • Additionally, Abby has helped passed legislation to create transparent pricing for prescription drugs to help bring down skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices, and passed bipartisan legislation to stop predatory robocall scamming.
  • Women’s Health 
    • Abby believes that a woman’s health should be an issue considered by herself, her doctor, and her family. As a state legislator, Abby fought back against countless bills targeting women’s health and defunding organizations that offered cancer screenings, preventive care, and other essential health services. 
    • Abby is also one of an estimated seven million women worldwide living with endometriosis, and earlier this year formed the first-ever bipartisan House Endometriosis Caucus to raise awareness and double federal research funding for the disease. 
  • The Environment 
    • Abby supports common-sense policies that encourage conservation of natural resources, protect our air, water, and soil, and invest in the renewable energy sector to create good jobs at good wages for Eastern Iowans. 
    • Abby knows that Iowa has always been a leader in the development and use of renewable fuels, and along with our farmers believes Iowa should be leading the way in developing more biofuels, wind energy, and solar energy that create good paying jobs. 
  • K-12 Schools 
    • As a proud graduate of Dubuque Public Schools, Abby knows first-hand the value of investing in public education. In Congress, she has secured millions of dollars in grants for Iowa’s Head Start Programs, and introduced bipartisan legislation to address inadequate funding and teacher shortages in rural schools. 
  • Higher Education 
    • Abby is one of the thousands of Iowans still paying off her student loans and understands first-hand the burden student loan debt has on too many students. She supports legislation to allow students to refinance their student loan debt at current interest loan rates – the same way homeowners can refinance with a home mortgage. 
    • Abby has led the charge to make sure that Iowa students and veterans who were defrauded by predatory for-profit colleges aren’t on the hook for degrees that aren’t worth anything, and has introduced legislation to make sure the Administration helps these students. 
  • Immigration 
    • It is abundantly clear that our current immigration system is broken and is failing our country, our state, and the people of eastern Iowa. Abby believes it is time to pursue bipartisan immigration reform to create an earned pathway to citizenship while also securing our borders. 
    • Abby supports a renewal of DACA to keep America’s promise to those brought here as children, and supports fixing E-Verify and making it mandatory for employers. She does not support abolishing ICE. 

More information

About U.S. House (IA-02) candidate Rita Hart

Information below is from EMILY’s List

Rita

A lifelong Iowan, experienced leader, educator, and farmer

Rita Hart is an experienced leader, farmer, and 20-year educator running for Congress in Iowa’s 2nd district to expand economic opportunity for hardworking families. A lifelong Iowan, Rita grew up in Charles City as one of nine children. After graduating from North Iowa Area Community College and the University of Northern Iowa, she taught junior high and high school English in public schools for more than two decades. Rita left the classroom and went on to lead programs that connected students with local businesses to facilitate career opportunities and served as an active volunteer in her eastern Iowa community. She was elected to represent a swing district in the Iowa Senate in 2012, and won reelection in 2014 despite a GOP landslide across the state. In 2018, Rita was the Democratic nominee for Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor on a ticket that narrowly lost—an experience that deepened her commitment to public service. She and her husband Paul have five children, and they live on the 200-acre farm in Wheatland that they’ve owned and operated since 1986.

A champion for Iowa working families

Rita is a dedicated public servant and a fierce champion for Iowa working families. As an experienced educator, she is a forceful advocate for increasing all students’ access to high quality public education and job training that prepares them to succeed in a changing economy. “I’ve spent almost my entire life on the farm,” Rita has said. “As we look at the challenges that we face right now with the tariffs and the trade war, the effect that they have already had on Iowa farmers, we have to have people who understand that [in Congress].” She is ready to take on the biggest challenges we face. “We have to do something to counteract the effects we are already seeing with climate change,” Rita has said. “People are suffering because we are not making good policy.”

An open seat we cannot take for granted

Rita is running for the open seat currently held by retiring seven-term Congressman Dave Loebsack. This is a district that Trump won by 4 points in 2016, and we cannot take a single vote for granted here. Its 24 counties include blue counties, red counties, and so-called “pivot counties” that voted for Trump in 2016 after voting for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Rita has won two tough elections for a swing seat in the state senate and earned a statewide reputation as an outstanding public servant. She has what it takes to hold this House seat and the powerful new majority that is at stake in 2020. This district has never before been represented by a woman, and Rita has what it takes to make history as the first.

More information

About U.S. House (IA-03) incumbent Cindy Axne

Cindy Axne is an Iowan, a small business owner, parent and now the U.S. Representative for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District.

Cindy Axne

A fifth-generation Iowan, Cindy grew up in a tight-knit family on the south side of Des Moines. Cindy’s childhood included weekends and summers spent on her maternal grandparents’ farm in Warren County, 4-H activities, and playing 6-on-6 basketball for the Valley High Tigers. Her parents raised Cindy and her sisters to speak their minds and not be afraid to take on tough fights – even when it was uncomfortable. That is the principle that has defined Cindy’s adult life – from holding state government accountable to the people it serves, to advocating for all-day kindergarten for every child in West Des Moines, to fighting to stop a local government plan to use state park land and private property to build an unnecessary new road.

Following her graduation from the University of Iowa, Cindy worked in strategic planning and leadership development for the Tribune Company in Chicago and earned an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. She and her husband John later moved to Wisconsin, where they started their small business. When their sons were 3 and 1, Cindy and John moved back to Iowa to raise their family in her hometown.

In 2007, when her older son started kindergarten, Cindy learned that full-day kindergarten was not available to every child in West Des Moines public schools, with eligibility determined by a lottery. Cindy was outraged at the inequity of the system and concerned that students were being shortchanged. She spent the following academic year advocating and negotiating with principals, the school board and the superintendent. After nearly a year, her efforts paid off and full-day kindergarten was made available to all students in the district.

From 2005 to 2014, Cindy worked for the State of Iowa, helping over twenty different state agencies deliver government services more effectively and efficiently for taxpayers. Since then, she has focused on growing the digital design firm she runs with her husband John.

Cindy is active in her church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and serves as a mentor with the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center at the University of Iowa. She lives in West Des Moines with John and their teenage sons.

Healthcare 

  • Cindy is a member of the Affordable and Accessible Health Care Task Force in Congress. 
  • Cindy believes every American should have access to coverage that is high-quality and affordable. 
  • Cindy knows we need to lower the cost of prescription drugs so that no one has to choose between life-saving medicine and putting food on the table. 

COVID-19 

  • Cindy knows that the way through this crisis is with strong leadership at the top. She is fighting every day to ensure that Iowans have access to both the medical and the economic resources they need to stay safe and afloat. 
  • Cindy has held several tele-town halls dedicated to connecting her constituents with the government services they need. 

More information

About U.S. House (IA-04) candidate J.D. Scholten

During the 2018 election cycle, J.D. Scholten was the only candidate to host a town hall in all 39 counties in Iowa’s 4th district. He started off every one with this statistic: the average member of the U.S. Congress is 58 years old and has a net worth of about one million dollars. J.D. Scholten is different: he’s 20 years younger and about a million dollars short of that average. He has something money can’t buy: deep Iowa roots and values and the determination to win.

Throughout his life, both as a teammate and as a professional, J.D. has put others first, and surrounded himself with others who do the same. He’s played baseball in seven countries, and his legal career has taken him to Minneapolis and Seattle. But who he is has never changed: an Iowan, an active public citizen, and an energetic teammate with a vision, strong work ethic, and integrity. His family raised him to believe that hard work, civility, and love of community are the values we should all aspire to. In every chapter of his life, he has demonstrated that he lives these values, and now, these values are the reason he is running to serve Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

Early Life

J.D., a 5th generation Iowan, was born March 4, 1980, at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames. At 10 lbs. 2 oz., he was already standing tall. At the age of three, his family moved from the town of Nevada to Sioux City, where he grew up and first played baseball. One of his grandfathers sold feed and seed to local farmers in Lyon County. The other was a farmer just outside of Lake Mills, while Grandma Fern—his personal hero—was a local elementary school teacher at Northwood-Kensett Elementary school. J.D.’s father coached baseball at Morningside College and his mother worked in public health, looking out for other mothers and their families.

As a student-athlete at Sioux City’s East High School, and then at  Morningside College, J.D. emphasized both academics and athletics, making the Dean’s List and earning first-team academic all-conference. After turning down a chance to get drafted in the 2001 MLB draft, J.D. transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he would lead the College World Series-bound team in Earned Run Average while earning academic all-conference.

Career

After college, J.D. pursued a professional baseball career, playing in Canada for the Saskatoon Legends, for his hometown Sioux City Explorers over the course of four seasons, and in Europe. Between baseball seasons, J.D. began a career as a litigation paralegal, specializing in Intellectual Property and trials law. This career taught him the ins-and-outs of the law, good governance, and how to fight for people’s rights. He found his true passion of helping others through pro-bono work, which included helping a Cameroonian man gain asylum after being tortured by his own government, and enabled a Minnesota company to protect its Intellectual Property rights against a giant corporation.

2018 Campaign for Congress

Inspired by his Grandma Fern and a Women’s March he attended, J.D. decided to run for Congress against Steve King in 2018. The Democratic establishment said the 4th Congressional District was unwinnable, but J.D. took a page from his political heroes, Berkley Bedell and Tom Harkin, and travelled to every one of the 39 counties in the district at least three times, putting over 35,000 miles on J.D.’s personal vehicle and an additional 24,000 miles on the now-famous “Sioux City Sue” — his beloved Winnebago RV (made in the district!). This grassroots campaign ultimately came within 3 points of beating Steve King, proving that passion, grit, and a deep understanding of the people of the 4th Congressional District can make this race competitive. J.D. held dozens of town halls in 2018 — a stark comparison to Steve King’s lack of presence in the community. Now, for the first time in his political career, Rep. King held town halls. But J.D.’s work is not done yet — now, it is time to beat give the people of Iowa’s 4th Congressional District the representation they deserve in Congress.

Just J.D.

As a proud Catholic, J.D. can be found attending mass in towns around the district, or otherwise cheering on his favorite sports teams, playing cards, or chowing down some Casey’s pizza while he travels the district in his home-away-from-home. Keep your eyes peeled, the Sioux City Sue and its driver, J.D. Scholten are coming soon to your community!

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