Jim Mowrer joins Democratic primary in IA-03

Iraq War veteran Jim Mowrer, the 2014 Democratic challenger to Representative Steve King in Iowa’s fourth district, announced this morning that he is running for Congress in Iowa’s third district. Earlier this year, Mowrer moved his family from Boone to Des Moines. I’ve enclosed his campaign’s statement after the jump, which lists 19 endorsers. Five are state legislators (two representing districts in IA-03), and five lead Democratic Party committees in IA-03 counties.

Speaking to Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register, Mowrer said he started thinking about running for Congress again a few months ago, when “a good friend” (Beau Biden) died: “That was another reminder of how fleeting life can be and we need to take action to change our world while we have the opportunity to do so.” Mowrer has known the Biden family for a long time; he chaired the Iowa veterans committee backing Joe Biden for president before the 2008 caucuses.

Earlier this year, Mowrer ran for Iowa Democratic Party state chair and was elected first vice chair. He confirmed to Bleeding Heartland that he resigned from that position this morning.

At this writing, Mowrer’s campaign website Jim for Iowa consists of a landing page, a volunteer sign-up form, a contribution button, and a link to the candidate’s biography. I assume issue positions and other information will be added soon. Mowrer is on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Mowrer raised an impressive amount of money for his 2014 campaign against King, more than $2.1 million. So he starts this effort with an unusually large e-mail list of supporters and contributors. He may not match his 2014 fundraising levels, since IA-03 GOP incumbent David Young is neither as well-known as King, nor hated by Democrats across the country. But Mowrer will surely raise enough money to run a competitive district-wide race.

Mowrer will have at least one rival in the Democratic primary: Desmund Adams. State Senator Matt McCoy took himself out of the running last week. Simone Pathe reported for Roll Call on August 14 that some Democrats are recruiting U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt to run in IA-03, and that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee included both Klinefelt and Mowrer in a recent poll. According to Pathe, that poll did not test former Governor Chet Culver, who said earlier this year that he was thinking about running for Congress. I don’t know any local Democrats who expect Culver to get in to this race at this point.

The latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office indicate that the sixteen counties in IA-03 contain 150,997 active registered Democrats, 163,107 Republicans, and 163,172 no-party voters.

Jim Mowrer for Congress press release, August 17:

Jim Mowrer Announces Campaign for 3rd Congressional District

Des Moines, IA – Today, Jim Mowrer announced that he is running for Congress in the 3rd district. Prior to this announcement, Jim served in the Iowa National Guard’s 1-133 Infantry Battalion during Operation Iraqi Freedom and then went on to work at the Pentagon serving as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army.

“With encouragement from folks across the district, family and friends, I am proud and enthusiastic to announce my campaign for the 3rd Congressional District. Congress isn’t working. What we need is leadership willing to put Iowa’s middle class before parties and politics – that’s exactly why I’m running and what I’ll do.”

Born and raised in Boone, Iowa, Jim and his wife Chelsey purchased a family home in the Waveland neighborhood of Des Moines in 2007 where they live today with their sons, Carter and Jack and their dogs, Emma and Abby.

Jim has put it all on the line to serve Iowa and the country before, serving as an Intelligence Analyst in Iraq, it was Jim’s job to help locate IED’s or roadside bombs so they could be removed before causing harm. Jim’s unit served the longest deployment of any unit in the Iraq War – 23 months. He will take his commitment to serve with him to Congress and will fight every day for the men and women of the 3rd District.


The Jim Mowrer Campaign announced the following 3rd Congressional District endorsements:

Rep. Bruce Hunter of Des Moines

Rep. Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs

Mary Maloney of Des Moines – Polk County Treasurer

Steve Shelley of Stuart – Adair County Supervisor

Linda Nelson of Council Bluffs – Democratic Chair, Pottawattamie County

Kathy Miller of Panora – Democratic Chair, Guthrie County

Jason Frerichs of Red Oak – Democratic Chair, Montgomery County

Brian Kingsolver of Shenandoah – Democratic Chair, Fremont County

Jennifer Herrington of Clarinda – Democratic Chair, Page County

Paula Martinez of Carlisle – Democratic Party State Central Committee

Jennifer Lunsford of Windsor Heights – Democratic Party State Central Committee

Kimberly Boggus of Des Moines – Iowa Democratic Party Affirmative Action Chair

In addition, the Jim Mowrer Campaign announced the following Iowa endorsements:

Jan Bauer – Iowa Democratic National Committee Member

Sue Dvorsky – Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair

Sen. Bob Dvorsky

Rep. Abby Finkenauer

Bill Hanes – Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee

Ron Healey – Iowa Democratic Party Veteran’s Caucus Chair

Rep. Todd Pritchard

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  • This is a good indication Biden isn't running

    Biden sent Mowrer to Iowa to help him build a ground game for a presidential campaign. If Jim decided to trade in his party position to lose another congressional bid it’s because Biden doesn’t need him anymore.  

  • Klinefelt

    From Politico’s Morning Score:

    “One Iowa Democratic operative who had spoken to Klinefelt recently, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private conversation, said Klinefelt had told him there was “no chance” he was going to run in the swing district.”

  • Day job?

    What is Jim Mowrer’s day job?  Maybe I missed that in the text.