Eddie Mauro considering challenge to Senator Joni Ernst in 2020 (updated)

CORRECTION: Speaking by phone on April 17, Mauro said he is considering a campaign for U.S. Senate but hasn’t decided to whether to run. He doesn’t have a time frame for making a final decision and needs to “make sure my family is on board” before weighing other factors, such as whether he “might be a viable candidate.”

Iowa Democrats may have their first candidate for the 2020 U.S. Senate race. Eddie Mauro told activists in Panora on April 16 that he will may run against first-term Republican Senator Joni Ernst, according to sources who attended the event. Guthrie County Democratic Party chair Kathy Miller told Bleeding Heartland that she invited Mauro to attend the central committee meeting after he called her on April 14 to discuss his plans.

Mauro is CEO of Des Moines-based insurance company UIG and director of Purify Project, which installs water systems in Africa. He previously ran for Iowa’s third Congressional district and finished second in the 2018 Democratic primary with 26.4 percent of the vote. Before that, he challenged State Representative Jo Oldson in the 2016 Democratic primary for Iowa House district 41. Mauro’s 2018 campaign website does not currently reference a U.S. Senate bid. I’m seeking comment from him and will update this post as needed.

Earlier this year, Mauro launched a political action committee called Midwest Victory PAC. The group’s goals include helping to defeat Ernst and support Democratic candidates for the Iowa House and Senate in 2020. Mauro was the founding chair of the Midwest Victory PAC and still holds that position, according to the PAC’s website. Once he formally declares his Senate candidacy, he will need to step aside from that role. Iowa law states that “A candidate for statewide or legislative office shall not establish, direct, or maintain a political committee.”

I enclose below additional background on Mauro and the Midwest Victory PAC.

UPDATE: After I corrected this post, several Democrats contacted me on April 17 to say that in their recent conversations with Mauro, he sounded like a definite candidate, not someone who was only considering the Senate race. A person who attended the Adair County Democratic Central Committee meeting on April 13 got the same impression from listening to Mauro. State Senator Claire Celsi said that last week, Mauro “told me he was running and asked for my support.” (Celsi represents Senate district 21, containing the Des Moines south side neighborhood where Mauro lives.)

While I understand that politicians prefer to control the timing of their rollout, prospective candidates who tell Democratic activists that they’re running should expect word to get around.

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Public education lines have been drawn. Time to pick a side

State Senator Claire Celsi: “Governor Reynolds has chosen private schools over the public schools 92 percent of Iowa’s children attend.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Governor Kim Reynolds’ private school and voucher activism has gone from coy to brazen. Simply entertaining “Secretary of Education” Betsy DeVos at the state capitol is a signal. Reynolds has never been a credible supporter of public education and now has publicly chosen a side. She chooses the 8 percent of Iowans whose kids attend private schools over the 92 percent who attend public schools. Reynolds has thrown down the gauntlet.

Now, an important question for you. Yes, YOU. Sitting in your comfy chair reading this post. Do you support Iowa’s public schools – or not? Time to make a decision.

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Iowa lawmakers pass another unconstitutional "Ag Gag" bill

Iowa legislators just can’t quit violating the constitution in the service of livestock farmers and their lobby groups.

Two months after a federal judge comprehensively dismantled Iowa’s 2012 law prohibiting “agricultural production facility fraud,” the state House and Senate approved a bill creating the crime of “agricultural production facility trespass.” Governor Kim Reynolds has indicated she will sign the legislation. (UPDATE: She signed it on March 14.)

Although the drafters modeled the new bill after portions of an Idaho statute that survived a legal challenge, federal courts could and should strike down this law. Like the previous “ag gag” legislation, its primary purpose is to suppress speech reflecting certain viewpoints.

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Join the battle for the soul of public education in Iowa

State Senator Claire Celsi sounds the alarm about a horrible bill that would benefit school administrators but would be very bad for Iowa children. -promoted by Laura Belin

The 2019 legislative session started off with a whimper as Republicans approved inadequate public education funding once again. Governor Kim Reynolds’ 2.3 percent budget request for K-12 funding was meet with an even less impressive proposal in the House and Senate – 2.06 percent. The House and Senate Democrats and Iowa State Education Association all suggested 3.0 percent and were voted down in short order.

Let me be clear: 2.06 percent is below the rate of inflation and not adequate. The result will be more layoffs, program cuts and more desperation to make ends meet in school districts all over the state.

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