Gary Kroeger claiming progressive niche in IA-01 Democratic primary

Gary Kroeger launched his campaign in Iowa’s first Congressional district a few minutes ago in Cedar Falls. His full official statement is after the jump, but here’s the “elevator statement” for his candidacy:

I am an unapologetic progressive, lifelong progressive and a proud lifelong Democrat. Many recognize the need for a new kind of leader in Washington yet rely on the same pool and the same candidate profile, while expecting to get different results. […]

As this primary moves forward it will become very clear that I am not a country club democrat.  I am a middle-class, progressive Democrat, and I’m running to represent our shared progressive Iowa Values in Congress.

That sounds like a direct challenge to Cedar Rapids City Council member Monica Vernon, who was a registered Republican until 2009. Several well-known progressive Iowa Democrats have already endorsed her, along with the pro-choice PAC EMILY’s List. But Vernon’s Republican roots and business-friendly image were an issue for some voters in the 2014 primary to represent IA-01.

Kroeger’s campaign logo includes the words PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRAT FOR CONGRESS, and his campaign website and Facebook page prominently feature the candidate’s policy stands.

The third declared candidate in next year’s IA-01 Democratic primary is Ravi Patel, who has reportedly raised more than $525,000 since launching his campaign in February. Former State Senator Swati Dandekar, the third-placed candidate in the 2014 primary (behind Pat Murphy and Vernon) is also considering this race.

Kroeger for Congress press release:

(CEDAR FALLS) – Today, Monday, April 6th, 2015, from the stage at Oster-Regent Theatre in his hometown, Cedar Falls native Gary Kroeger is officially launching his campaign for US House of Representatives.

“I grew up right here in Cedar Falls.  My father was a John Deere engineer and my mom was a schoolteacher – I was blessed with the advantages of a good home in an America within a thriving middle class while being taught by my parents, both of whom were raised during the Great Depression, to honor our responsibility to help those who were not.”

Kroeger, a father of two sons and an advertising executive in Cedar Falls recognizes that his professional path is unique and unconventional with regards to politics. “I am an unapologetic, lifelong progressive and a proud lifelong Democrat. Many recognize the need for a new kind of leader in Washington yet rely on the same pool and the same candidate profile, while expecting to get different results. I have taken an unusually diverse career path for a boy from Iowa, but I have always challenged the odds and I have always followed my heart.  12 years ago, after a 20 year career that included Saturday Night Live in New York, being an actor, writer, producer, and even a restaurateur in Los Angeles, my heart told me to raise my children in Iowa for the Iowa Values that I grew up with.  Those values were hard work, uncompromised justice, commitment to education, generosity, stewardship of our environment and respect for the families that farmed the land.”

“Those values are being dismissed, even eliminated, as a new definition of ‘Iowa Values’ swept into Washington last year. The Rob Blum & Joni Ernst values prioritize margins over workers’ rights and wages, exclusionary dogma over equal justice and austerity fever over investment in education. ”

“As this primary moves forward it will become very clear that I am not a country club democrat.  I am a middle-class, progressive Democrat, and I’m running to represent our shared progressive Iowa Values in Congress.”

For additional information about Gary Kroeger, voters can go to www.KROEGERforCONGRESS.com .

  • Kroeger

    I’m not really sure there’s an ideological opening for Kroeger if you compare him to Patel.  Kroeger may have to do some research on Patel and see how well he knows the business world.

  • Relatable

    When trying to be relatable, I suggest not talking about your stint on SNL. I would also challenge him to not accept money from any democrats who belong to a country club.

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