Iowa Republicans let Attorney General Tom Miller run for re-election unopposed four years ago, but Brenna Findley confirmed today that she is stepping up to the plate for the GOP this year:
Raised on a farm near Dexter in southwest Dallas County, Findley, 33, attended Drake University in Des Moines and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History and minor in Russian with honors. After Drake, Findley attended the University of Chicago Law School. While at the University of Chicago, she served as Symposium Editor of The University of Chicago Law School Roundtable, a law journal, and worked for small business clients in the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses. Upon graduation from law school, she worked in private practice.
"Iowa needs an Attorney General who is a strong advocate for Iowa's economy and understands what it takes to create private sector jobs in every community and in every county," said Findley. "My background and experience have given me the understanding about what it takes to ensure Iowa is a family friendly state where jobs, opportunity and prosperity can thrive in every community. Small business is the engine for job growth- my office will be small business friendly," she added.
Findley has served as Chief of Staff and senior Judiciary Committee staff member to Iowa Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron) since 2003. In her work with the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, she has dealt with and gained significant expertise on many of the most pressing legal issues of the day. As Chief of Staff to Congressman King, Findley serves 32 counties in western Iowa, managing six offices and staff.
Craig Robinson of The Iowa Republican is excited about Findley's candidacy for many reasons:
Brenna Findley is not just the young go-getter up against an incumbent past retirement age. Findley is the rare combination of youth and accomplishment. Findley has spent time in Iowa's campaign trenches and worked throughout the GOP's caucus-to-convention process. But, most importantly, Findley has battled the constitution's demolition crew in the Judiciary Committee in the United States Congress.
For those who are unaware, the Judiciary Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives is the front line in America's culture war. Conservatives debate with the loony left like John Conyers, Jerry Nadler, Maxine Waters, and Sheila Jackson Lee each and every day on each and every issue. In this venue, Findley has seen and heard every liberal argument for dismantling the rule of law. Findley has proven she can handle the legal distortions from the best the intellectually challenged Left has to offer.
I have to laugh when a close associate of Steve King is held up as a champion of the rule of law. King is the member of Congress who disrupted the testimony of former top Pentagon official Douglas Feith during a Judiciary Committee hearing and suggested to former White House spokesman Scott McClellan that he could have "done this country a favor" if he had kept his mouth shut about Bush administration lying and law-breaking. In King's world, Congress should only conduct oversight of the executive branch if Democrats are in power.
Anyway, Findley has no hope of defeating Miller, who has a long and distinguished record. He was first elected attorney general in 1978, left the position to run for governor in 1990 (he lost the Democratic primary), and was re-elected in 1994 despite the enormous Republican landslide in Iowa that year. It sounds as if Findley will try to depict Miller as unfriendly to small business, but I doubt she'll have much luck there.
Still, this race should be a good opportunity for Findley to build name recognition. It may also be good for Iowa Republicans to have a woman on the ballot--not because she will leave liberals to "tic, twinge, and sputter," as Robinson suggests, but because the Iowa GOP hasn't nominated a woman for a statewide office in a while. Findley's someone to keep an eye on, and I'll be curious to see how she positions herself during this campaign.
CORRECTION: John Deeth reminds me in the comments that Mary Ann Hanusa became the GOP candidate for secretary of state in 2006 after the nominee withdrew from the race.