Dave Muhlbauer announced on November 23 that he is ending his U.S. Senate campaign to take more time to grieve with his family. Douglas Burns reported for the Carroll Times Herald that Muhlbauer's 4-year-old nephew Jed Riesselman died in a farm accident on August 12.
In a statement posted on his social media feeds, Muhlbauer said the loss of his nephew "has had a devastating effect on our family. It’s something you can never prepare yourself for and will leave a hole that will never be filled."
Muhlbauer thanked Iowans who had reached out to his family and members of his community who helped bring in this year's harvest, adding,
I deeply appreciate the incredible people I was able to meet over the months I traveled across Iowa. I thank you for your love and prayers and only ask that you hold those you love extra tight as we move into the holiday season and beyond. Our family will always have so much gratitude for the outpouring of love and understanding from all of you.
Muhlbauer was the first Democrat to enter the 2022 Senate race, in May. He had not actively campaigned since the tragedy.
Muhlbauer told Burns he isn't endorsing any other Senate candidate yet. Four Democrats are seeking the nomination: former U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer, retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken, family physician Glenn Hurst, and veterans advocate Bob Krause.
My heart goes out to the Riesselman and Muhlbauer families. The loss of a child is one of the most difficult bereavements to overcome. Compassion Books has many resources for grieving parents as well as some age-appropriate books for young children or teenagers who have lost a sibling.
The first holiday season after a loss can be very hard on grieving people, so this week would be a good time to reach out to any friends or loved ones who are hurting.