IA-01: Mathis set to clear Democratic field

Less than a week after launching her Congressional campaign, State Senator Liz Mathis has eliminated any chance of serious competition for the Democratic nomination in the first district.

Mathis announced support last week from more than 100 well-known Iowa Democrats, including all recent U.S. House representatives, every current statewide official, and 48 current state legislators. It’s not just the number of endorsements that will discourage others who may have considered running for Congress in northeast Iowa. Prominent voices representing all wings of the Democratic Party are behind Mathis.

I’ve enclosed below the full news release from the campaign. Looking only at endorsers who live in the 20 counties that are now part of IA-01, we can see that Mathis has support from backers of every major presidential candidate before the 2020 caucuses:

  • Bernie Sanders: Linn County Supervisor Stacey Walker
  • Pete Buttigieg: State Senator Bill Dotzler, State Representative Sue Cahill
  • Elizabeth Warren: State Senator Eric Giddens, State Representatives Liz Bennett, Tracy Ehlert, Lindsay James, and Art Staed
  • Joe Biden: State Senator Pam Jochum, State Representatives Bob Kressig and Kirsten Running-Marquardt
  • Amy Klobuchar (whom Mathis supported): State Senator Rob Hogg, State Representatives Molly Donahue and Dave Williams, former State Representative Andy McKean)

Some well-known Iowa elected officials who didn’t endorse a presidential candidate before the 2020 caucuses are also supporting Mathis for Congress, including former Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard and Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson.

Iowa’s new political map will be finalized sometime this fall, but it’s clear that Linn County and much of northeast Iowa will still be part of the first Congressional district. While some other Democrat in the area may collect enough signatures to qualify for the 2022 primary ballot, Mathis will not need to spend any significant resources to become the nominee.

I’ve often advocated for competitive Democratic primaries, which can help candidates hone their skills and emerge battle-tested for the general election campaign. But Mathis won’t be hurt by the lack of competition before next June; her long career in broadcast journalism and ten years of service in the Iowa Senate have given her more than enough practice in communicating a message.

Mathis is expected to face U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson in the 2022 general election. Republicans may have an open race for the IA-01 nomination if Senator Chuck Grassley retires and Hinson runs for U.S. Senate instead of for re-election.

Full text of July 30 news release from the Mathis campaign (the Cedar Rapids Gazette was first to report on these endorsements on July 29)

Liz Mathis endorsed by more than 100 Iowa elected officials and grassroots leaders 

Just days after launching her campaign Mathis earns support from Rep. Cindy Axne and every current statewide elected Democrat in her campaign for Iowa’s First Congressional District

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Led by Rep. Cindy Axne and all of Iowa’s statewide elected Democrats, Liz Mathis announced endorsements from more than 100 elected officials and grassroots leaders for her First District Congressional campaign.
“I’m proud to have earned the support from this group of Iowa leaders who have given so much to our state. These leaders know that Iowa families, small businesses, and communities deserve better than the broken promises and political games we’re seeing in Washington D.C., and I’m glad to have them with me in this race,” said Liz Mathis. “I’m running for Congress because eastern Iowa deserves a representative who listens to their concerns and delivers results. That’s exactly what I’ve spent my life doing, whether it’s as an elected official, as a journalist holding powerful interests accountable, or as a non-profit leader.”
“Congress needs people who not only listen, but who take the concerns they’re hearing from Iowans and turn them into action,” said Cindy Axne. “That’s who Liz Mathis has been her entire life, and that’s why I need her working with me in Congress to deliver for Iowans. I’m proud to call her a friend and can’t wait to call her a colleague.”
In addition to Rep. Cindy Axne, Mathis has received endorsements from former U.S. Representatives Abby FinkenauerDave Loebsack, and Bruce Braley
All of Iowa’s current statewide elected officials are backing Mathis’ congressional bid. In addition to Attorney General Tom Miller, State Auditor Rob Sand and State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald, Former Iowa Lt. Governors Patty Judge and Sally Pederson, and Former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack have also endorsed Mathis.
Serving in the Iowa Senate since 2011, Mathis has also had the opportunity to work with dozens of current and former Democratic legislators. Dozens of legislators, local elected officials and grassroots leaders are also supporting Mathis in her congressional race, including:
Tony Bisignano, Iowa State Senator
Joe Bolkcom, Iowa State Senator
Claire Celsi, Iowa State Senator
Bill Dotzler, Iowa State Senator
Eric Giddens, Iowa State Senator
Rob Hogg, Iowa State Senator
Pam Jochum, Iowa State Senator
Kevin Kinney, Iowa State Senator
Jim Lykam, Iowa State Senator
Janet Petersen, Iowa State Senator
Amanda Ragan, Iowa State Senator
Jackie Smith, Iowa State Senator
Todd Taylor, Iowa State Senator
Sarah Trone Garriott, Iowa State Senator
Ako Abdul-Samad, Iowa State Representative
Marti Anderson, Iowa State Representative
Liz Bennett, Iowa State Representative
Christina Bohannan, Iowa State Representative
Wes Breckenridge, Iowa State Representative
Timi Brown-Powers, Iowa State Representative
Sue Cahill, Iowa State Representative
Molly Donahue, Iowa State Representative
Tracy Ehlert, Iowa State Representative
John Forbes, Iowa State Representative
Ruth Ann Gaines, Iowa State Representative
Eric Gjerde, Iowa State Representative
Chris Hall, Iowa State Representative
Steve Hansen, Iowa State Representative
Bruce Hunter, Iowa State Representative
Chuck Isenhart, Iowa State Representative
Dave Jacoby, Iowa State Representative
Lindsay James, Iowa State Representative
Bob Kressig, Iowa State Representative
Monica Kurth, Iowa State Representative
Mary Mascher, Iowa State Representative
Charlie McConkey, Iowa State Representative
Brian Meyer, Iowa State Representative
Amy Nielsen, Iowa State Representative
Rick Olson, Iowa State Representative
Todd Prichard, Iowa State Representative
Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Iowa State Representative
Art Staed, Iowa State Representative
Kristin Sunde, Iowa State Representative
Phyllis Thede, Iowa State Representative
Beth Wessel-Kroeschell, Iowa State Representative
Dave Williams, Iowa State Representative
Cindy Winckler, Iowa State Representative
Mary Wolfe, Iowa State Representative
Sharon Gonzalez, Linn County Treasurer
Ben Rogers, Linn County Supervisor
Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor 
Joan McCalmant- Linn County Recorder
Linda Laylin, Black Hawk County Supervisor
Tom Little, Black Hawk County Supervisor
Craig White, Black Hawk County Supervisor
Tony Thompson, Black Hawk County Sheriff
Tyler Olson, Cedar Rapids City Council
Ann Poe, Cedar Rapids City Council
Sharon Juon, Waterloo City Council
Bob Dvorsky, Former Iowa State Senator
Mike Gronstal, Former Iowa State Senator
Beverly Hannon, Former Iowa State Senator
Rita Hart, Former State Senator
Bill Heckroth, Former Iowa State Senator
Wally Horn, Former Iowa State Senator
Bob Rush, Former Iowa State Senator
Brian Schoenjahn, Former Iowa State Senator
Steve Sodders, Former Iowa State Senator
Nate Willems, Former State Senator
Deborah Berry, Former Iowa State Representative
Ro Foege, Former Iowa State Representative
Doris Kelley, Former Iowa State Representative
Andy McKean, Former Iowa State Representative
Bob Osterhaus, Former Iowa State Representative
Patti Ruff, Former Iowa State Representative
Mark Smith, Former Iowa State Representative
Sally Stutsman, Former Iowa State Representative 
Jane Teaford, Former Iowa State Representative
Roger Thomas, Former Iowa State Representative
William Witt, Former Iowa State Representative
Lee Clancey, Former Cedar Rapids Mayor
Brent Oleson, Former Linn County Supervisor
Linda Langston, Former Linn County Supervisor
Scott Brennan, Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Andy McGuire, Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Sue Dvorsky, Former Iowa Democratic Party Chair
Roxanne Conlin, Former U.S. Senate Candidate
Theresa Greenfield, Former U.S. Senate Candidate
Monica Vernon, Former Congressional Candidate
Deidre DeJear, Former Candidate for Secretary of State
Tim Gannon, Former Candidate for Secretary of Agriculture
Shari Flatt, Community Leader
Jen Neumann, Community Leader
Amy Reasner, Community Leader
Bill Stumpf, Disability Rights Activist
Kyle Stumpf, Disability Rights Activist
Danny Homan, Retired President of AFSCME Council 61
About Liz Mathis: Liz Mathis has been a journalist, a non-profit leader and a State Senator – no matter the role, she has listened and been a voice for Iowa families. After putting herself through college and earning a degree in journalism, she became an anchor for KWWL and KCRG, where she listened to Iowans and told their stories for 27 years. After her career in journalism, she continued her service as a non-profit leader in Cedar Rapids, helping families recover from floods and supporting children and adults requiring mental health care and basic needs. Serving in the State Senate since 2011, she has spoken up for families struggling with the state’s Medicaid program and created numerous measures that focused on children, Iowa’s economy and educational growth. Mathis and her husband Mark live in Hiawatha. They raised their kids, Mark and Mary Fran, in Waterloo and Robins.

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