The case for each Democrat running for Congress in IA-03

With less than three weeks remaining before the June 5 primary, many Democrats (including myself) are still undecided in the primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. All three candidates left standing in the once-crowded field have raised enough money to run strong, district-wide campaigns.

This post focuses on how Cindy Axne, Pete D’Alessandro, and Eddie Mauro have presented themselves in stump speeches, direct mail, and television commercials aimed at Democratic voters.

IA-03 is generally viewed as less likely to flip to Democrats than the first Congressional district in the northeastern part of the state. Its sixteen counties contain 158,514 active registered Democrats, 169,454 Republicans, and 169,753 no-party voters, according to the latest figures from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. The district’s Cook Partisan Voting Index is R+1, meaning that in the last two presidential elections, IA-03 has voted about 1 point more Republican than the country as a whole. Representative David Young is favored to win a third term, but the race is considered competitive, especially if the national environment favors Democrats this fall.

On a related note, Bleeding Heartland previously transcribed each challenger’s answer to an important question: “How will you beat David Young, considering the fact no matter who wins the nomination, it’s going to be an uphill fight?”

Roughly two-thirds of the district’s Democrats live in Polk County, covering Des Moines and most of its suburbs. It’s a safe bet Polk residents will cast more than two-thirds of the primary votes, because hotly contested Democratic races for a county supervisor seat and the Iowa Senate district Matt McCoy is vacating will drive unusually high turnout. In addition, the Des Moines area is home base for most of the Democrats running for governor and all three candidates seeking to take on Young this November.

CINDY AXNE: “KNOWS HOW TO SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS IN GOVERNMENT AND HAS THE LEADERSHIP AND EXPERIENCE TO DO IT”

The small business owner and longtime state government employee has been running for Congress since last June. (website, Facebook, Twitter)

Here’s a short version of a stump speech by Axne, from the Polk County Convention on March 24. Congressional candidates were given just two minutes to speak.

My transcript:

I’m Cindy Axne, and I’m running for the United States Congress to beat David Young. [applause] I’m a fifth-generation Iowan with roots on the south side of Des Moines. My mom’s from a farm in Warren County, and my parents taught me a couple of lessons which really put me here today. They said, take care of your friends, take care of your family, but take care of others, even strangers, because when everybody does well, our community thrives.

And they also said to stand up for what’s right, even when it means standing up to people more powerful. And that’s how I’ve tried to live my life. It’s why I’ve spent my career at the state of Iowa, serving the people here in our state, helping to bring in good-paying jobs, making sure that we gave a voice to the most vulnerable among us, and definitely holding government accountable to doing what’s right in my role at the Department of Management and then later protecting our environment at the Department of Natural Resources.

And now it’s why I’m running for Congress. Because we need somebody out in Washington who’s going to stand up and fight for what’s right, and who has the leadership and experience to do so. Every day we’re seeing more and more issues that we need to fix, and more things that we need to stand up against and fight for for the people here in our state. So I’m here to ask for your voice and to ask for your vote. Because together, we can bring hope and opportunity to every single person in this district, and in this state, and in this country once again. Thank you so much, and have a great convention.

Candidates had a little more time to address Third District Convention delegates on April 28. Axne’s remarks that day:

My transcript:

Good morning, everybody. All right–how’s everybody doing today? Well, I’m Cindy Axne, and I’m running for the United States Congress to beat David Young. [applause]

Wow, what a great morning. Let me tell you a little bit about me. Most of you have heard much of this, but I’m a fifth-generation Iowan with roots on the south side of Des Moines and also from farm country in Warren County, where my mom is from. And I’m really standing here today because of my parents. They taught my sisters and me to stand up for what’s right and to fight back against injustice, even when it means standing up to someone more powerful. And they also taught us to help our friends and our family, but they said, make sure you help strangers alike, because when everybody does well, our community thrives. [applause]

And that’s how I’ve tried to live my life. It’s why I went to work at the state of Iowa as a public servant–proud public servant here. And was able to help bring in good-paying jobs for the people that live here, make sure we gave a voice for our most vulnerable populations, definitely hold government accountable to doing what’s right, and by the way, save millions of taxpayer dollars in my job at the Department of Management, the governor’s right hand for performance and budget. And then later protecting our environment as a division administrator at the Department of Natural Resources.

So I have been there under two Democrat governors, when we have run very effective, efficient governments to help serve the people that live here in Iowa, and I intend to do that when I am out in Congress. [applause]

We’ve heard a lot of people this morning talking about the values, Iowa values that we bring to the table, and my parents instilled those in me as well. And it’s why I’ve fought to help our own community. Like getting all-day kindergarten in West Des Moines. When I found out half the kids lost the lottery and didn’t get that opportunity. They got a two-and-a-half-hour version. So I got busy. Because our education should be the great equalizer, and I’m going to make sure that I take that out to Congress as well. [applause]

I’m also a small business owner with my husband, who is actually here today–John, there he is. [applause] And we’re the proud parents of a couple of teenage boys, so any advice you’ve got for us, please stop by and help us out. [laughter] But we understand the struggles that our Iowa families are facing. And I’ll tell you what: I’ll do whatever it takes out in Congress to raise up the lives of the people that live here.

Every single day we are seeing our democracy under attack. We are seeing our environment being polluted. We are seeing our public schools have money taken away from them. We are seeing our voting rights being diminished. And we have so much that we need to take care of out in Congress.

So I want to get out there and make sure that we raise up all of our Iowa families, bring good-paying jobs back here to the people that live in our state, protect our environment–by the way, I directed the governor’s agenda for clean energy and the environment. And I want to make sure that we continue with renewable energy and make Iowa number one when it comes to wind and solar and sustainable agriculture. [applause]

So we’ve got a heck of a lot to do out there. But I’ll tell you what: when I get to Congress, I’ll work with anybody. I don’t care if it’s Republicans or Democrats, as long as it’s right for the people of our corner of the state. But I’m going to fight back against anybody if it’s not.

It’s time we send somebody to Congress who actually knows how to solve complex problems in government and has the leadership and experience to do it. And I think it’s time we send a fighter out to Congress, somebody who’s going to stand up for what’s right [applause] and not stop until we get the job done.

So I’m so grateful to be here today. I hope to have your nomination. I’m here to ask for your voice and for your vote, because I can’t do this alone. So, if we do it together, we can bring hope and opportunity to every single person in this district, and in this state, and in this country once again. Cindy Axne for Congress, thank you so much.

This recent direct mail piece is modeled on a piece of literature Axne’s campaign staff have handed out at many house parties and Democratic events. Front:

Interior:

Back:

Axne’s first television commercial, “Treat,” launched at the beginning of May, with a focus on her push to change the West Des Moines school district’s policy on kindergarten.

My transcript:

Axne’s voice: This isn’t how you treat children. [Viewer sees two girls sitting in a classroom. One is smiling at an enormous cupcake in front of her. The other looks sadly at a tiny cupcake on her plate.]

Years ago, our school district used a lottery system to pick the kids who got all-day kindergarten and those who didn’t. [One girl happily bites into the huge cupcake; the other looks sad. View shifts to Axne speaking to camera in a school building hallway]

I knew that wasn’t right. [closer view of Axne speaking to the camera; words CINDY AXNE DEMOCRAT FOR CONGRESS are near bottom of the screen]

Male voice-over: Cindy Axne spent a year fighting the system, successfully advocating for full-day kindergarten for every West Des Moines child. [footage of Axne speaking with others at what looks like a boardroom table, words on screen CINDY AXNE FULL DAY KINDERGARTEN FOR EVERY CHILD]

She’ll fight Donald Trump’s cuts to schools, [footage of Axne talking with a family; CINDY AXNE FIGHT TRUMP’S CUTS TO SCHOOLS]

increase skills and job training, [CINDY AXNE INCREASE SKILLS & JOB TRAINING]

and make college more affordable. [CINDY AXNE MAKE COLLEGE MORE AFFORDABLE]

Axne speaks to camera: I’m Cindy Axne, and I approve this message because every child deserves a great education.

Axne’s second tv ad hit the airwaves this week. Here’s “Progress”:

My transcript:

Axne’s voice: We’ve broken glass ceilings, so they won’t face them. [viewer sees smiling elementary school-aged girl, then teenage girl]

We’ve fought for our rights, so they have brighter futures. [college-aged woman]

Axne speaks to camera: We’ve made progress, only to see Donald Trump try to pull us backwards. [CINDY AXNE DEMOCRAT FOR CONGRESS on screen]

Female voice-over: Cindy Axne is no stranger to tough fights. She’ll work to ensure women get the same pay and opportunities as men. [footage of Axne speaking with others around a boardroom table; CINDY AXNE EQUAL PAY & OPPORTUNITIES]

And Axne will fight for every woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. [CINDY AXNE FIGHT FOR RIGHT TO CHOOSE]

Axne speaking to camera: I’m Cindy Axne, and I approve this message because the only way Iowa women should go is forward.

So far, Axne has advertised only on Des Moines television stations, which reach most of the IA-03 population. However, Pottawattamie County (Council Bluffs area) and a few other counties in southwest Iowa are part of the Omaha, Nebraska market. A couple of weeks ago, the media page of Axne’s campaign website displayed a “IMPORTANT VOTER UPDATE” with talking points about the candidate. The final sentence read, “Democrats in Omaha will be unlikely to have heard about Cindy.”

I can’t recall seeing any notice like that on an Iowa political website before now, but since at least the 2014 election cycle, candidates have been posting similar statements online. They appear to be messages for third-party entities about what kind of advertising could be helpful. (Federal law doesn’t allow coordination between campaigns and outside groups making independent expenditures on their behalf.)

On May 1, I sought comment from the Axne campaign on whether that “voter update” was their way of conveying they had no plans to run tv or radio ads in the Omaha market before the primary. I didn’t hear back, but as of May 4, the media page of the website had been updated. The current version has talking points about what “voters need to hear on TV,” with no reference to Omaha.

Organizations endorsing Axne:

• EMILY’s List, a political action committee that promotes pro-choice, Democratic women candidates
• Des Moines Professional Firefighers Local #4
• Asian & Latino Coalition

UPDATE: The Des Moines Register endorsed Axne on May 25.

Latest version of the list of individual supporters featured on her website:

• Austin Frerick, former Democratic contender in IA-03
• Mike Gronstal, former Iowa Senate Majority Leader
• Eric Tabor, Chief Deputy Attorney General
• Renee Hardman, City Councilwoman, West Des Moines
• Alicia Claypool, former Chairperson, Iowa Civil Rights Commission and Co-Founder of Iowa Safe Schools
• Loretta Sieman, former City Councilwoman, City of West Des Moines
• Mary LaHay, President, Iowa Friends of Companion Animals
• Peggy Huppert, Executive Director, The National Alliance on Mental Illness – Iowa
• Natasha Newcomb, School Board Member, Des Moines
• Roxanne Conlin, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
• Reyma McCoy McDeid, Chair of Grey Area Democrats
• Francis Boggus, former Des Moines Human and Civil Rights Commission Vice Chair
• Ralph Rosenberg, former State Senator, State House Representative, and former Executive Director, Iowa Environmental Council
• Dr. Mary Mincer Hansen, Former Director, Iowa Department of Public Health
• Mike Draper, Business Owner, RayGun
• Mark Ackelson, former President, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
• Patricia Higby, Board Member, Iowa Wind Energy Association
• Dylan Funk, Vice-Chair, Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus
• Tom Narak, Retired Superintendent, West Des Moines Public School System
• Kerry Bowen, Chair of Windsor Heights Democrats
• Dale Cochran, former Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
• Roz Lehman, former Director, Iowa Rivers Revival
• Marcia Wanamaker, 3rd Vice Chair, Dallas County Democrats
• Ruth Thompson, Vice-Chair, Iowa Democratic Party Disability Caucus
• Julie and Alan Feirer, Madison County Community Activists
• Rhonda Martin, City Councilwoman, City of Johnston
• Mike Delaney, founder of Raccoon River Watershed Association
• Lynn Graves, founding Member of the United Way of Central Iowa Women’s Leadership Initiative
• Devin Kelly, chairof Iowa Democratic Party Stonewall Caucus
• Dr. Yogesh Shah, Director, Palliative Care Services at Broadlawns Medical Center
• Louis Lavorato, Former Justice, Iowa Supreme Court
• Donna Crum, Chair, Mills County Democrats
• Patricia Boddy, Former Deputy Director at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources
• Rachel Scott, Former Administrator, Iowa Commission on the Status of Women
• Art Behn, Treasurer, Dallas County Democrats
• Joleen Jansen, District Program Coordinator, Clayton County Clean Energy
• Susan Webster, Community Activist and Precinct Captain, Des Moines
• Dr. Robert Shaw, Board member, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
• China Wong, 2017 Woman Business Owner of the Year – Salon W
• Dian Curran, Vice-Chair, Iowa Democratic Party Native American Caucus
• Kathy Collins, Former Attorney for Iowa Department of Education and School Administrators of Iowa
• Paul Danforth, Clinical Social Worker and Community Leader
• Jackie Wellman, Community Activist, West Des Moines
• Vickee Adams, Former Chair, Dallas County Democrats
• Alice Hodde, Treasurer Fremont County Democrats
• Rebecca Boyd Dublinske, Board Member, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
• Mike Matson, Alderman, City of Davenport
• Cornelia Mutel, Ecologist, and Environmental Author
• Timothy Kacena, Iowa House of Representative District 14
• David Lingren, former Executive Director, Iowa Communications Network
• Kathy Collins, former Attorney at the Iowa Department of Education and School Administrators

PETE D’ALESSANDRO: “A VERY SPECIFIC, BOLD, PROGRESSIVE AGENDA IN ORDER TO WIN THE FUTURE”

The longtime campaign operative best known as a top staffer for Bernie Sanders before the 2016 Iowa caucuses has been running for Congress since last August. (website, Facebook, Twitter)

State Representative Marti Anderson spoke on behalf of “my friend and my first campaign manager” at the Polk County convention, while D’Alessandro attended other conventions around the district. Anderson highlighted the candidate’s key policy stands: a $15 minimum wage, Medicare for All health care reform, a tuition-free public education, and showing leadership to combat climate change. She added that he “knows how to win”–a theme D’Alessandro has mentioned in many stump speeches and public forums.

Here’s the audio from D’Alessandro’s speech to Third District convention delegates in April.

My transcript:

I’ve always wanted to start–when I’m in a room like this, I know I’ve seen a lot of you out there at various other events–I always like to start with a thank you for what you’re doing. Everything that’s ever mattered in this country, from the very beginning–from the Boston Tea Party, to the abolitionist movement, to the woman’s suffrage movement, to the civil rights movement, the environmental movement, and the most recent incarnation of that that we saw, the battle and the fight for marriage equality for our gay brothers and sisters–always started in rooms like this, with people like you. So thank you for what you’re doing. [applause]

I’m running for Congress against David Young. I want your nomination–because it’s your nomination–to run against David Young, because he is Donald Trump’s biggest enabler in the United States Congress. He has voted with him 98 percent of the time. That is unacceptable. [applause, boos]

But I’m asking, I’m also asking for your nomination because I believe we cannot just count on a wave. We cannot just say, Donald Trump is not popular, and a wave will take us in. Because a wave may let us win an election, but it will not allow us to win the future.

I believe we can stand for a very specific, bold, progressive agenda in order to win the future. I think that is a minimum wage, a federal minimum wage law that says $15 an hour is where we’re going to start that discussion. Because if you work 40 hours a week, if you work 40 hours a week, at the very least you shouldn’t be living in poverty, but what we should be striving for is that you are living in dignity, and so is your family. [applause]

I think, I think it’s time for this nation to join those other nations that we have historically called our friends and codify in the law a very simple, but powerful truth: health care is not a privilege. Health care is your birthright, it is the right of every American. I think that is a Medicare for All system. It is the single greatest social program in the history of the world. A second generation of seniors is living in dignity because of it. [applause] We need to stand for that. We’ve done it before in this country. We have to find the will and we can do it. [applause]

And I believe that all of these things can be done, but the other thing we have to do is we have to reform this rigged campaign finance system [applause, unintelligible] …by law. But we need public funding of elections so those with their hands on the lever of the money are not more important than the majority anymore in this country.

I’ll finish with this. Our primary here in Iowa happens to be right around the 50th anniversary of when we lost Robert Kennedy. And Robert Kennedy used to say that the future may be beyond our sight, but it’s not beyond our grasp. And because we are free people, we have an obligation to grab it and mold it to our will.

I believe with all my heart, if we stand for these things–not just here in Iowa, but throughout this country–a generation from now, they will be sitting in rooms like this, and they will be forced to say of us: that is when the Democratic Party heeded the words of Robert Kennedy. That is when the Democratic Party found its soul again. And instead of just trying to win elections, they attempted to win the future. And because they attempted to win the future, they started winning elections again.

I would be honored to have your nomination. I will fight every day through November for these causes. Let’s work together to make the will of the people the law of this land.

In the campaign’s first major mail piece, which many voters received last week, Bernie Sanders stated that “PETE’S FIGHT IS OUR FIGHT“:

D’Alessandro’s opening television commercial, “Run,” featured Sanders’ unmistakable voice.

My transcript:

Bernie Sanders, speaking off camera: Pete D’Alessandro grew up in a union household, and he’s spent his life fighting for people. [viewer sees childhood photos of the candidate with his family, then pictures of him speaking at labor or progressive rallies]

He worked for Governor Vilsack. [photos of D’Alessandro and Tom Vilsack]

Now Pete’s running for Congress and against the rigged economy. [footage of D’Alessandro speaking at a podium with a WIN THE FUTURE banner in the background]

Refusing corporate PAC money. [photo of D’Alessandro speaking at a UAW event, words PETE D’ALESSANDRO NO CORPORATE MONEY on screen]

He supports equal pay for women, [photo of the candidate speaking to a woman; PETE D’ALESSANDRO EQUAL PAY]

family leave [photo of the candidate from a house party, PETE D’ALESSANDRO PAID FAMILY LEAVE]

and Medicare for All. [photo of the candidate at a kitchen table with a woman, PETE D’ALESSANDRO MEDICARE FOR ALL]

Sanders speaks to the camera: I’m Bernie Sanders. Pete helped lead my campaign here in Iowa. Now, we need him in Congress to stop Donald Trump. So please, vote for Pete D’Alessandro.

D’Alessandro’s voice: I’m Pete D’Alessandro, and I approve this message. [photo of D’Alessandro and Sanders together from the event where Sanders endorsed him earlier this year]

Organizations that have endorsed D’Alessandro:

• Omaha and Southwest Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council
• SEIU Local 199
• Communication Workers of America Iowa State Council
• National Nurses United
• Our Revolution–National and Central Iowa chapter
• Justice Democrats
Guthrie County Vedette newspaper

UPDATE: The National Union of Healthcare Workers endorsed D’Alessandro on May 21.

Prominent individuals supporting his campaign:

• U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders
• U.S. Representative Ro Khanna
• U.S. Representative Tim Ryan
• Former U.S. House Majority Whip David Bonior
• Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge
• State Representative Marti Anderson
• State Representative Brian Meyer
• Sue Dvorsky, former Iowa Democratic Party chair
• Michael Kiernan, former Iowa Democratic Party chair
• Derek Eadon, former Iowa Democratic Party chair
• Matt Paul, Hillary Clinton’s Iowa State Director in 2016

UPDATE: Former Governor Chet Culver endorsed D’Alessandro on June 3. D’Alessandro was Culver’s political director during his tenure as Iowa secretary of state and governor.

EDDIE MAURO: “A PROUD, PROGRESSIVE LEADER AT A TIME CONGRESS NEEDS ONE MOST”

The longtime business owner, coach, and former teacher officially entered the race in November, but he had been campaigning for months already. (website, Facebook, Twitter)

Audio from Mauro’s pitch to Polk County Convention delegates:

My transcript:

Good morning. Well I’m here today running for Congress because every parent and every grandparent deserves to know that their children and grandchildren are going to grow up in the best possible world. And I’m here to help build that world.

I’ve spent a lifetime of doing that, as a teacher, and a coach, as an advocate, as a founding member of AMOS [A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy]. I was always speaking up and speaking out against the status quo. And that’s why we are here today. Because I’m a champion for the resistance. I’m a champion for the revolution. And that is real, and that is present here today.

And everywhere I go in this district I have seen people that are energized and enthusiastic. But we need to make sure we channel those emotions strategically so we can win here in November. How do we do that? We do that by telling people where we stand and standing there firmly.

And where do I stand? I stand with women. I stand with kids of every race, of every creed, of every sexual orientation and background. I stand for a health care for everybody in America.

I stand for a comprehensive public education strategy. I stand for our seniors and the promises we made to them relative to Social Security and Medicare. I stand for our labor unions, our laborers, our hard workers and our consumers, and not for big banks and corporations. We need to make sure all of our policies range in that direction.

Where does David Young stand? He stands with the money. And we need a better leader than that. We need a leader that’s going to advocate for you every single day. We need somebody who’s going to fight for you every day, whether you’re in a city or in a suburb or a rural community. And if we do that, we can get back on track. A track to hope and not fear, to love and not hate, to truth and not deception, to peace and not war.

Please go look us up, EddieMauro.com. Together we’ll move America forward together. Thank you, have a great day. [applause]

Mauro’s speech to IA-03 convention delegates in April was inspired by his trip to California for the premiere of Avengers: Infinity War. That movie’s director Joe Russo headlined a fundraiser for Mauro in Des Moines recently.

My transcript:

I want to talk about heroes today. You see, I was in Los Angeles earlier this week. In a crazy set of circumstances–I don’t have time to tell the story–I ended up on the red carpet for the movie that just opened, for The Avengers.

And then, through a crazier set of circumstances, I find myself in a room where I knew I shouldn’t have been. And it’s me and all of the Avengers. It’s Ironman and Captain America and Black Panther and Spiderman. And I started looking around that room, and I knew what my speech was going to be today. Because I want to do something different today. I’ve seen you guys for months and months, you should know where I stand by now. If not, look it up on my website. I’m here because of you. I’m here to talk about the real heroes in our world.

You see, I’ve been running around this district for months. And everywhere I go, when I shake somebody’s hand, I see a hero. It’s a retiree, who has spent all of her life working in a nursing home, and just wants to know that the promise we made to her for her Social Security and Medicare can be met. She’s a hero.

It’s the teacher who I saw in Shenandoah. I shake her hand, I feel her love, her passion, the hope that she has for our kids. Our real heroes.

It’s the veteran in Des Moines, when I went to the VA hospital for Veterans Day. Shake his hand or her hand and know the dedication that they gave to our country, and they just want to know that we’re going to look after them.

It’s the Latina and the Latino in Perry, Iowa, who is out there working hard to provide a better world for their sons and their daughters, and knowing that we don’t always accept them. We want to be there for them. Those are our heroes.

It’s the laborer. I’ve been in lots of labor halls, shaken lots of hands. I feel the passion, I feel their dedication. We heard from all the gubernatorial candidates about how they [workers] are getting raped and pillaged right now [by the Republican legislature]. We need to stand with them because they are our heroes.

And I look across this room tonight, and I see nurses, I see doctors, that are very concerned about our health care. We need to make sure that that’s affordable and accessible for every child, for every woman, for every man in this world. Those are our heroes.

I think about my parents, who put me in this place. I think about all these heroes that we have. We’ve touched on a lot. When I look in this room here today, you are our heroes. We are going to make this world a better place. We are going to build a better America here, and it starts right here in this room. Heroes are going to make that happen. It starts right here. [applause]

You see, I’ve here today because all of you, all of my heroes deserve to know that your kids, and your grandkids, our future heroes, are going to grow up in the best possible world. I want to help build that world. And that’s a world that’s built on a progressive, inclusive populism, where the very promise, the very idea is made available to every woman, to every child, to every man, every creed.

And that’s a far cry from what we’re seeing both at the state level and the federal level. I want to do something that’s extraordinary. I’m not going to be your hero. You’re going to be our hero. I want to stand beside you. I want to make sure that we as a group bring a heroic effort of hope instead of fear in this country. A heroic effort of truth instead of deception in this country. A heroic effort of love instead of hate in this country. And peace instead of war and violence.

And if we do those things, we become the heroes of this generation. We get us ready for the future, and that future is very bright. And that is great for our kids and our grandkids and the generations to come.

Let’s go all make sure we stand next to each other, to our heroes, they’re all here in this room. Let’s go do something heroic. Let’s go take back this state. Let’s go take back this district. Let’s go take back this country. And let’s move America forward today. Thank you very much. [applause]

Mauro has emphasized his progressive stances in his campaign literature. First piece to hit Democratic mailboxes:

Second direct mail piece from Mauro’s campaign:

Mauro was the first candidate in this race to start advertising on television, in late April. Bleeding Heartland posted his first spot near the end of this post. Here’s the second commercial, “Ballpark”:

My transcript:

Mauro’s voice: A player gets hurt on the field? No one asks what position they play. No one asks why they got hurt. It doesn’t matter what team they play for. Out here, you get hurt, you get help. [Footage of a baseball park, then Eddie Mauro, then boys playing baseball

Health care for every Iowan should be no different. [viewer sees Mauro, with campaign logo and “Health Care for Every Iowan” on screen]

Let’s make health care affordable so it doesn’t cost Iowans the game. [footage of Mauro talking with different people, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE]

Mauro speaks to camera: I’m Eddie Mauro, a lifelong Democrat, and I approved this message because it’s time for progressives to take the field.

Organizations that have endorsed Mauro:

• Central Iowa Building and Construction Trades Council

Prominent individuals supporting Mauro:

• State Senator Tony Bisignano
• State Representative Ruth Ann Gaines
• Des Moines City Council member Bill Gray
• Des Moines City Council member Joe Gatto
• Des Moines City Council member Linda Westergaard
• Joe Henry, leader of Iowa chapter of League of United Latin American Citizens
• Ed Fallon, former state representative and onetime candidate for Congress and governor
• political strategist Mark Langgin

UPDATE: Polk County Sheriff Bill McCarthy endorsed Mauro on May 22. State Representative Ako Abdul-Samad endorsed Mauro on May 23.

Any comments about the IA-03 race are welcome in this thread.

  • Pete no, Cindy or Eddie maybe

    I’m unwilling to vote for a Bernie clone. I can’t see him playing well in the non-Des Moines parts of the district. This isn’t a congressional district in Chicago.

  • Where's the farm/rural strategy.

    A quick search finds little in the way of a strategy for farms, agriculture and rural regions. (Search for “farm” “agri” “rural”) Republicans in Congress, (and at the state legislature,) are anti-agriculture, but we haven’t had candidates to make that case, in a strategy to take a large chunk of the rural vote away from the Trump Republicans. The key issue today for most farms, (as over the past 60 years,) is economic injustice, a rising farm crisis. This also relates to the Bernie question. Bernie sometimes seems capable of a strong rural strategy, (and sometimes not,) so it remains unclear, and he seems to have paid little attention to it last time around, taking farm/town economic votes for granted. Economic farm justice hugely undergirds sustainability, as we’ve seen with tanking farm income over 60 years, leading to the massive subsidization (by farmers, via cheap grain,) of a tiny few enormous CAFO corporations, (1 chinese corp owning 25% of US hogs), leading then to the loss of sustainable crop rotations utilizing livestock feeds (clover, alfalfa, grass, small grain nurse crops,) especially needed on hills and near streams. It’s also a strategy for getting extra votes for the primary.

    • at least two-thirds

      if not three-quarters of the primary votes will come from Polk County. Another large chunk will come from Council Bluffs or Des Moines suburbs in Dallas County. So while farm policy is important, it isn’t going to drive a significant share of the primary votes.

  • Impressive

    I don’t know that endorsements count for a lot, but what I do find impressive about Axne’s (lengthy) list is how it spans the various wings of the party. There are people on that list from a pretty anti-establishment populist left, and there are people on that list who are definitely pretty moderate, and a whole lot of points in between, including people with very different primary interests — economics, environment, education, rights of women, or persons of color, of LGBTQ, and of persons with disabilities, and health care. brad-wilson above asked about farm policy; to that end I think it compelling that Austin Frerick endorsed Axne as well, although likely even more important that she has done a lot of face-to-face meet and greets in the rural parts of the district.

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