Business owner, former educator, and community organizer Eddie Mauro made his U.S. Senate candidacy official this morning, saying his background makes him “the best candidate to take on and defeat Joni Ernst.” In a news release enclosed in full below, Mauro noted,
“I have grown up, worked, played and raised a family in Iowa along with the same people I will represent in the US Senate. I spent many summers on the family farm near Carroll, IA and taught and coached in Seymour, Iowa. My company supports small business owners in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. We need a United States Senator that will fight for Iowa’s middle-class families, our family farms, the small businesses on Main Street, protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for all Iowans and invest in our renewable energy economy to create jobs and combat the climate chaos and challenge before us.”
Carroll was Mauro’s first stop this morning; he had events planned in Fort Dodge, Ames, and Des Moines later in the day and a call-in town hall on the evening of May 20.
In a fundraising e-mail enclosed below, Mauro said he visited nearly 30 counties as he considered running for Senate. His campaign website lists endorsers including State Representatives Ako Abdul-Samad of Des Moines and Charlie McConkey of Council Bluffs.
Abdul-Samad was among Mauro’s well-known supporters during last year’s primary to represent Iowa’s third Congressional district. Mauro finished second to Cindy Axne in that race; you can view his television commercials and direct mail from that campaign here and here.
The other declared Democratic candidate for Senate is Kimberly Graham, an attorney and guardian ad litem. Theresa Greenfield, who ran for Congress last year but did not qualify for the primary ballot, has been speaking to activists lately and seems likely to join the Senate field this summer or fall. That would set up a three-way Democratic race with all the candidates from Polk County. UPDATE: Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker is seriously considering the Senate race as well, he told James Q. Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette on May 20.
J.D. Scholten of Sioux City has also been mentioned as a potential Senate contender, though many Democrats expect him to run again in Iowa’s fourth Congressional district instead. Axne has already ruled out challenging Ernst, and other Democrat recruited for the race, Rita Hart, is running for Congress in the open second district.
Iowa’s 2014 U.S. Senate race was the most expensive in state history, with Ernst and Bruce Braley spending nearly $24 million combined and outside groups spending more than $60 million. Although it’s not yet clear whether Ernst will be a top target for Democrats in 2020, Republicans are gearing up to defend the seat. Trackers with the GOP-aligned group have followed State Auditor Rob Sand around and showed up to film Mauro speaking this morning in Carroll.
The Democratic-aligned super-PAC American Bridge 21st Century recently launched a social media spot saying the senator is “all talk” and no action as President Donald Trump’s trade war hurts Iowa farmers.
May 20 news release from Mauro’s campaign:
IT’S TIME TO PUT IOWANS FIRST:
Iowa Native Eddie Mauro Formally Announces Candidacy For United States Senate
DES MOINES — Following an exploratory period where he has visited over 30 Iowa counties in all corners of the state Eddie Mauro officially announced today that he is running for the United States Senate. Eddie is a Democrat, former public school teacher, and coach, business owner, and community organizer.
“Washington remains broken and it’s time for a change, and I am the best candidate to take on and defeat Joni Ernst,” said Eddie Mauro. “I have grown up, worked, played and raised a family in Iowa along with the same people I will represent in the US Senate. I spent many summers on the family farm near Carroll, IA and taught and coached in Seymour, Iowa. My company supports small business owners in all 99 of Iowa’s counties. We need a United States Senator that will fight for Iowa’s middle-class families, our family farms, the small businesses on Main Street, protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for all Iowans and invest in our renewable energy economy to create jobs and combat the climate chaos and challenge before us,” Mauro said.
State Legislator and organized labor leader Charlie McConkey has endorsed Mauro’s candidacy, saying, “Eddie is committed to social justice for all, a worker’s right to organize in a safe and supportive workplace, and will fight for a woman’s right to make her own healthcare choices. He’s a fighter who can defeat Joni Ernst.”
Donna Crum with the Mills County Democrats says, “Eddie grew up working as many of us; spending time on his uncle’s farm, driving a truck, working in a warehouse and today works with Main Street small businesses in all 99 Iowa counties. He understands the struggles out here in small-town Iowa and will work across the aisle to solve problems while standing up for Iowa values.”
Des Moines attorney and business leader Emily Webb endorsed Eddie Mauro’s support for paid family leave, “Eddie has provided paid family leave and other benefits at his insurance firm (UIG) that have created an environment that has helped support women and created a company where female leaders can grow. He’ll work tirelessly to promote those same benefits as a member of the United States Senate.”
Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is currently ranked among the most competitive races in the country. Recent polling from Public Policy Polling shows Senator Joni Ernst below 50 percent approval and is entering her first re-election contest. Protecting the affordable care act and provisions guaranteeing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions were critical to flipping seats in Iowa’s 1st and 3rd congressional district and will be central in 2020 efforts to defeat Joni Ernst who has voted multiple times to repeal those protections. With Eddie Mauro’s Iowa roots, experience working in all 99 Iowa counties, and leadership experience he will be the strongest potential candidate to defeat Joni Ernst in 2020.
Eddie Mauro is a successful businessman and lifelong resident of Iowa. A longtime community leader, Mauro is a founding member of the influential community organization AMOS and has served on the boards of South Suburban YMCA, the Immigration Committee for the Iowa Catholic Conference, the Purify Project and the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. In addition to these leadership roles, Mauro coached Dowling High School to state championships in baseball in 1999 and 2001. He also coached football at North High School and baseball at Lincoln High School and DMACC. Mauro is married to Sharilyn, his wife of 29 years, and has two children.
E-mail blast to potential supporters on May 20:
My name is Eddie Mauro. I am a Democrat and lifelong Iowan. And today, I’m announcing that I’m running for the United States Senate against Joni Ernst.
I am running because, as Robert F. Kennedy said, “Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of the events, and then the total — all of these acts — will be written in the history of this generation.”
I am working to change a small portion of events by putting my name on the ballot. But I can’t do this alone — every candidate needs folks of all stripes doing their part to change a small portion of events, too.
If you want to be part of bending the arc of history and helping defeat Joni Ernst, please join our campaign. If we work together, we will win in 2020 and be proud of how we helped flip the United States Senate from a chamber focused on discord, disagreement, and hate into an institution of progress, pragmatism, and standing up for working people.
Washington remains broken, it’s time for a change, and I am the best candidate to take on and defeat Joni Ernst. I have grown up, worked, played, and raised a family in Iowa along with the same people I will represent in the US Senate. I will show Iowans what courage looks like and be willing to make the hard choices that benefit all Iowans, not just a fortunate few.
I remember when Iowa’s small towns thrived, farmers could make a living tending to their land, and everyone was treated with dignity. I want to know that Iowa again.
I spent many summers on the family farm near Carroll and taught and coached in Seymour. My company supports small business owners in all 99 of Iowa’s counties.
In fact, I have visited nearly 30 counties before deciding to run for Senate. We wanted to hear from Iowans about their everyday struggles and frustrations with our current leadership in Washington. I heard them loud and clear — Iowans are ready for a fighter. If you are ready for a fighter — please join us.
We need a United States senator who will fight for Iowa’s middle class families, our family farms, and the small businesses on Main Street, who will protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for all Iowans, and who will invest in our renewable energy economy to create jobs and combat the climate chaos before us.
Iowans don’t have a senator fighting for them in Washington. I am prepared to take on the greed of special interests and corporate lobbyists. I will fight for those that have been forgotten and left behind and pry Washington out of the hands of the few and put power back into the hands of all our citizens.
This fight won’t be easy. Theodore Roosevelt said, “The credit belongs to the [person] who is actually in the arena … who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again … who at the worst, if [s/he/they] fail/s, at least fails while daring greatly.”
I hope you will join me in the arena and build a campaign we can all be proud of. We can’t do it without you.