Pete D'Alessandro joins the Democratic field in IA-03

Promising to “fight for a bold agenda” that can “win the future,” Pete D’Alessandro became the sixth Democratic candidate in Iowa’s third Congressional district today. A veteran of many campaigns who is putting his name on the ballot for the first time, D’Alessandro is best known to Iowa activists as state coordinator for Bernie Sanders before the 2016 caucuses. His core issues echo some of the Sanders campaign’s central themes:

» Fight for a $15/hour livable wage
» Expand Medicare-for-all to ensure universal healthcare access
» Support tuition-free college
» Lead on addressing the global climate crisis

D’Alessandro is also promising to “do more than just stand against Donald Trump.” He developed his thoughts further on Democratic principles and tactics in a recent interview with Bleeding Heartland.

His campaign is on the web at PeteforIowa.com, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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IA-03: Austin Frerick welcomes fight with the Koch Brothers

Austin Frerick is building his Congressional campaign around the case against economic concentration, which he has called “the fundamental issue of our time.” His opening shot was a Des Moines Register guest column last month. In that piece, Frerick called for the federal government to block the proposed Monsanto-Bayer merger and break up “Big Ag corporations” that command near-monopoly power, “limiting farmers’ choices and making the products they need even more expensive.”

Frerick’s column provoked a response in the Register by the head of a conservative think tank, who defended the Monsanto-Bayer merger and questioned Frerick’s “political motivations.” At last week’s Iowa Wing Ding event and in a statement released today, the Democrat embraced this fight with “a right-wing organization” funded by the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

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Nine ways Democrats can keep 2018 primaries from becoming destructive

More Democrats are running for Iowa’s statewide and federal offices than at any other time in at least four decades. I’m excited to watch so many strong candidates make their case to be elected governor, secretary of state, or to Congress in all three Republican-held U.S. House districts.

Contested primaries are mostly good for political parties, I believe. For too many election cycles, Iowa Democrats tended to coalesce around one candidate early on. A battle for the nomination forces contenders to work harder and sharpen the message. With more campaigns trying to identify supporters and get them to the polls, I expect a record-setting turnout for Iowa Democrats in June 2018.

The process will also drive more activists to attend next year’s precinct caucuses and county conventions, since conventions may be needed to select Democratic nominees for governor and in the third Congressional district, if no candidate receives 35 percent of the vote in the primary.

The only downside to a competitive primary is the risk that the campaign could become intensely negative, leaving some of the most engaged activists feeling angry and alienated from one another. Case in point: some people are still arguing about Hillary v. Bernie more than a year later.

Fortunately, Democrats can prevent that destructive dynamic from playing out.

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If Pete D'Alessandro runs in IA-03, it won't be just to win an election

Pete D’Alessandro would be a first-time candidate if he joins the large group of Democrats challenging Representative David Young in Iowa’s third Congressional district. But no one in the field has more Iowa campaign experience than this longtime political operative.

D’Alessandro has been thinking seriously about this race for months. In a recent telephone interview, he told me he has set Saturday, August 26–the date of the Iowa Democratic Party’s third district workshop in Atlantic–as “the day to fish or cut bait.”

He also discussed the points he would raise as a candidate and how Democrats can accomplish “real change,” capitalizing on the activism that fueled Bernie Sanders’ campaign.

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Austin Frerick launches Democratic campaign in IA-03

Declaring that “economic concentration is the fundamental issue of our time,” Austin Frerick launched his candidacy for Congress in Iowa’s third Congressional district today.

In a news release, he said, “For too long, agricultural monopolies like Monsanto have been milking Iowa’s farmers with high seed costs. I’m tired of watching career politicians stand aside while huge corporations push around average Iowans.”

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IA-03: Eddie Mauro may join the Democratic field

Declaring that “Iowans are tired of being lied to by their elected leaders in order to win their vote,” Eddie Mauro announced today that he may seek the Democratic nomination in the third Congressional district. “It is not enough to vent about these problems or politicians; we need to step up and get involved.”

Mauro ran against State Representative Jo Oldson in last year’s Democratic primary for Iowa House district 41, campaigning as a “fearless advocate” for policies to promote stronger schools and better-paid teachers, a “living wage for all Iowans,” better air and water quality, and more investment in roads and transit.

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