IA-03: "Business leader, mother and farm kid" Theresa Greenfield officially running

Promising to “stand up for Iowa’s families, farms and future,” Theresa Greenfield became the fourth declared Democratic candidate in the third Congressional district today. I enclose below her announcement, which includes a bio of the former urban planner who is now president of a real estate company. Her campaign also launched a website and Facebook page and is on Twitter @GreenfieldIowa.

Greenfield has been attending local Democratic and progressive advocacy events for the past several months. Speaking to roughly 100 activists at the West Des Moines Democrats’ picnic on July 3, she described her upbringing on a farm as well as her experience as a young widowed mother after her husband died in a workplace accident. Without Social Security and workers’ compensation benefits, she would have been unable to support her family and go back to earn the degrees that allowed her to become successful in the business world. If elected to Congress, Greenfield said, she would fight to preserve safety net programs and for policies to promote good jobs, access to health care, education, and environmental protection.

At least three other candidates are likely to file for next year’s Democratic primary: Cindy Axne, Heather Ryan, and Paul Knupp.

Pete D’Alessandro has also been exploring a campaign here. The first two Democratic challengers to two-term Representative David Young, Mike Sherzan and Anna Ryon, later dropped out of the race.

The sixteen counties in IA-03 contain 164,132 active registered Democrats, 175,639 Republicans, and 165,523 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Roughly two-thirds of the Democrats in the district live in Polk County, containing Des Moines and most of its suburbs. Young’s seat is on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of targets for 2018 but so far is not in the top tier of districts where the DCCC has invested early.

Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the district by 48.5 percent to 45.0 percent, but Young ran about 5 points better than the top of the Republican ticket.

July 5 news release:

Theresa Greenfield Announces Run for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District,
Vows to Stand Up for Iowa’s Families, Farms and Future

DES MOINES, Iowa – Theresa Greenfield, a Des Moines business leader, mother and farm kid, declared her candidacy for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District today.

“Growing up on a small family farm with four siblings taught me a lot about life’s ups and downs,” Greenfield, 53, said. “But we learned we could do anything, overcome any setback through hard work, perseverance and strong community support.

“I’m running for Congress because Iowans know it will take Iowa values – mixed with a heavy dose of can-do common sense – to overcome the problems we face here and in Washington,” she said.

“For workers and their families, that means fighting for real opportunity and well-paying jobs, and for health care that is available and affordable,” Greenfield, a Democrat, continued. “For farmers, their families and small-town Iowa, that means opposing misguided policies that would crush agriculture and weaken Iowa’s economy. For future generations, that means a real commitment to world-class, lifelong education, and to protecting the environment.”

After putting herself through school at Iowa Lakes Community College and Iowa State University, Greenfield studied urban and regional planning at Mankato State University in Minnesota. She served for more than a decade as an urban planner before she was named president of Rottlund Homes of Iowa in 2007. Today she is president of Colby Interests, one of Des Moines’ oldest, family-held real estate companies.

Greenfield and her husband Steve, 59, owner of a marketing and communication business, live in Des Moines. Together they have four grown children: Tanya, 31, a media specialist; Nick, 30, a horticulturist; Phil, 28, a health care consultant; and Dane, 23, a soldier in the U.S. Army.

To learn more about Greenfield and her campaign, visit GreenfieldForCongress.com.

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About Theresa:

Theresa Greenfield grew up on a family farm in southern Minnesota, just over the Iowa border. She and her four siblings were taught the value of hard work and self-reliance. Her father, Derald, encouraged his daughters to do everything the boys did on the Greenfield farm, including driving the tractors and the grain trucks, bailing hay and feeding hogs. As Theresa likes to put it, “There were no boy jobs. There were no girl jobs. Just jobs that needed doing.”

From the time they were 16, Theresa and her twin sister Maria would meet with area farmers to negotiate terms and mark out fields for the family crop-dusting business, giving Theresa experience in how small businesses operate at a young age. Theresa enjoys the outdoors and all sports. She played basketball, ran track and was captain of her championship high school volleyball team.

Like many of their neighbors, Theresa’s family suffered through the farm crisis of the early 1980s. But thanks to student financial aid and multiple part-time jobs, Theresa put herself through college, studying first at Iowa Lakes Community College and Iowa State University before graduating from Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn.

She also met and fell in love with Rod Wirtjes, married and settled down in Buffalo Center, Iowa. Rod, a journeyman lineman and member of the IBEW, shared Theresa’s common sense, small-town values and work ethic. Theresa was just 24 years old – with a 1-year-old and four months pregnant – when Rod was killed at work. With the support of her family, community, Social Security and workers’ compensation, Theresa restarted her life by returning to school to study a profession that would help her provide for her two boys as a single mom.

After working with numerous communities as an urban planner, Theresa joined Rottlund Homes, then a major developer and home-building company based in Minneapolis. She was soon tapped to head Rottlund’s Iowa division in Des Moines. Today she is president of Colby Interests, a family-owned commercial real estate company based in the Des Moines area.

Theresa and husband Steve Miller, owner of a marketing and communication business, live in Des Moines. Together they have four grown children: Tanya, 31, a media specialist; Nick, 30, a horticulturist; Phil, 28, a health care consultant; and Dane, 23, a soldier in the U.S. Army.

Theresa is running for Congress with the same farm-kid values and plain-spoken, get-it-done attitude she has demonstrated throughout her life. “Iowans know it will take Iowa values – mixed with a heavy dose of can-do common sense – to overcome the problems we face here and in Washington,” she said.

Learn more about Greenfield and her campaign at GreenfieldForCongress.com .

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