Labor union endorsements in contested 2014 Iowa Democratic primaries

With less than two weeks remaining before June 3, interest groups with a preference in competitive primaries have presumably made their views known by now. On the Democratic side, labor unions are most likely to get involved in primaries, so I wanted to compile in one place the full list of candidates in competitive Democratic races who have been endorsed by one or more organized labor group. None of the Democrats seeking statewide office in Iowa this year has a primary opponent, and I’ve omitted county-level races. The list below includes candidates running for Congress in the first district and seeking various Iowa House and Senate seats.

I will update this post as needed if I learn of other labor union endorsements. Note that many other Democratic candidates already have or will have organized labor’s official support for the general election campaign. Blog for Iowa posted all of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO’s endorsements for 2014 here. A complete list of candidates who will appear on primary ballots is on this page of the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.

Of the five candidates seeking to replace Bruce Braley in IA-01, former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy has the most labor endorsements, with 18 unions so far: Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, AFSCME Iowa Council 61, CWA Iowa State Council, SEIU Iowa, IUOE State Local 234, NALC Dubuque Local 257, NALC Local 234, ISALC, APWU Iowa, Great Plains Laborers’ District Council, International Association of Machinists, Carpenters, SMART-UTU, Ironworkers, RWDSU Local 110, Teamsters Local 90, Teamsters Local 120, and Dubuque Building Trades.

Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon has the backing of the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City Building Trades Council.

State Representative Anesa Kajtazovic has been endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Locals 431 and 1149.

I am not aware of any labor unions backing Dave O’Brien or Swati Dandekar, the other two Democrats in the IA-01 primary.

Iowa Senate

In Senate district 7, a battleground race featuring a first-term Republican incumbent, the Northwest Iowa Labor Council (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) has endorsed Jim France over Maria Rundquist.

In Senate district 17, an open seat because of Jack Hatch’s gubernatorial bid, Tony Bisignano has the backing of AFSCME Iowa Council 61, the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO), and the Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council. I am not aware of any labor union endorsements for Nathan Blake or Ned Chiodo, the other Democratic candidates. UPDATE: Bisignano also has endorsements from Des Moines Police Local 10, Des Moines Firefighters Local 4, Teamsters Local 238, and the local Polk County AFSCME 1868.

In Senate district 23, where Cynthia Paschen is challenging three-term Democratic incumbent Herman Quirmbach, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed Quirmbach.

In Senate district 33, where the longest-serving Iowa Senate Democrat Wally Horn is being challenged by Lance Lefebure, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the Hawkeye Labor Council (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed Horn.

In Senate district 39, an open seat that both parties will target, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 endorsed Kevin Kinney over Richard Gilmore.

In Senate district 41, another battleground race featuring a first-term GOP incumbent, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the Southern Iowa Labor Council (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed Steve Siegel over Tom Rubel.

In Senate district 45, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the Quad City Federation of Labor (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed incumbent State Senator Joe Seng over his primary challenger, Mark Riley.

Iowa House

In House district 43, the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) is backing Kim Robinson in the primary over Nicholas Dreeszen. The winner will face three-term Republican State Representative Chris Hagenow.

In House district 47, the South Central Iowa Federation of Labor (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) is backing Hans Erickson rather than Mark Trueblood in the primary. The winner will face two-term Republican State Representative Chip Baltimore.

In House district 61, an open seat because Anesa Kajtazovic is running for Congress, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the Blackhawk Central Labor Council (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed Timi Brown Powers. I am not aware of any organized labor backing for her two primary opponents, Andrew Miller or Brad Condon.

In House district 65, an open seat because of Tyler Olson’s retirement, both AFSCME Iowa Council 61 and the Hawkeye Labor Council (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) have endorsed Gary Anhalt over Liz Bennett.

In House district 73, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 endorsed Dennis Boedeker in the primary against David Johnson. The winner will face first-term Republican State Representative Bobby Kauffman.

In House district 97, an open seat because Republican Speaker Pro-Tem Steve Olson is retiring, the Clinton Labor Congress (part of the Iowa Federation of Labor AFL-CIO) is backing Jay Saxon over Carl Boehl in the primary.

In House district 99, open because Pat Murphy is running for Congress, AFSCME Iowa Council 61 endorsed Abby Finkenauer. The Dubuque Area Letter Carriers endorsed Steve Drahozal. He also has the “recommendation” of the Iowa State Education Association, which does not officially endorse candidates.  

  • Robinson/Dreeszen

    Do you know of any campaign website or online materials for Kim Robinson?  Dreeszen appears to be a Ron Paul man that is solely focused on cannabis.  Nothing wrong with bringing that issue to the forefront, but I’m not sure his other views would be in line with most people for a Iowa House contest.

    • here is the website

      Robinson for Representative:

      Kim Robinson is a successful businessman and entrepreneur who moved with his wife and two young daughters to Iowa in spring 2001 from the California Bay Area.

      Kim’s business career continued to offer him opportunities to move on and relocate to other states, but he and his wife fell in love with Iowa and settled in Clive to raise their family.

      Kim followed his dream and became an entrepreneur in 2003 when he launched a sales training company with just one local contract. The training industry is highly competitive and failure is common, but his hard work and ability to make things happen turned his modest start-up into what is now D2D Cable-a  unique, video-based sales and customer service training company with offices in two states and a global clientele.

      He knows business and he knows how to be successful in a competitive environment. He understands how workplace equality, good wages and the availability of high quality public education create a better business environment overall, which can attract more business and create more and better jobs for Iowans.

      The two Robinson girls attended West Des Moines public schools and graduated from Valley High School, class of 2010 and 2012 repsectively. The eldest, Ryan, recently graduated from Boston University Summa Cum Laude and the younger daughter, Alex, is an honors student at Iowa State University in the College of Design.

      Kim Robinson is running to be the Democratic representative from House District 43 to ensure that Iowa continues to provide excellent public education to everyone and be a great place to live, work and raise a family.

      • Great info

        Based upon that description I would be glad to support Robinson.  Of course the issues need to be discussed.  I can see him losing the primary though in this race.  The Hagenow seat will always be a missed opportunity if we don’t get on the stick.

        Thank you for finding Robinson’s website.  I guess my Google skills must be slipping.  

        • Robinson is reaching out to Democrats

          A low-turnout primary is anyone’s game, but surely the labor endorsement can’t hurt him.

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