# IA-Sen 2022



Mike Franken for Senate

Jim Chrisinger is a retired public servant living in Ankeny. He served in both Republican and Democratic administrations, in Iowa and elsewhere.

American democracy is on the ballot. Electing people who support and will defend our democracy tops my priorities.  

I voted for Senator Chuck Grassley, multiple times. Unfortunately, Grassley no long supports democracy.  He condones Donald Trump’s Big Lie about the 2020 election, supports voter suppression, opposes the renewal of the Voting Rights Act (which he previously voted for), voted twice to acquit Trump, and opposed a bipartisan January 6 commission. When Grassley chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2016, he refused to give U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing.  

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Who the Iowa Democratic primary voters are

Early voting for Iowa’s June 7 primary begins on May 18. Democrats have one contested race for a federal office (Abby Finkenauer, Mike Franken, and Glenn Hurst are running for U.S. Senate) and one for a statewide office (Joel Miller and Eric Van Lancker are running for secretary of state). There are also many competitive primaries for Iowa House or Senate seats.

Turnout for this year’s primary will likely be much lower this year than in 2020, when Secretary of State Paul Pate sent every active registered voter an absentee ballot request form. In addition, a law Republicans enacted last year shortened Iowa’s early voting window from 29 days to 20 days and made it harder to return a completed ballot in time to have the vote counted.

Even so, more than 100,000 Democrats will likely participate in the June 7 election. I analyzed statistics and results from the last three cycles for clues on who Iowa Democratic primary voters are and where most of them live.

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Abby Finkenauer can build a winning coalition

Mary Jo Riesberg chairs the Lee County Democratic Party.

Abby Finkenauer is the Democrat who can defeat U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley. Many factors make her candidacy not only stronger than the other Senate candidates, but one that can offer a boost to those down ballot.

She will represent Iowans as we sit at our kitchen tables discussing the struggles we face in our day-to-day lives. She will be the senator we need to help Iowa and the United States adjust to the “new normal” after the COVID-19 pandemic and to prepare for the many changes needed for the future.

No matter how much people say they are ready to have Grassley out of office, it will still require a coalition of voters to defeat him.

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Choosing the Democrat who can beat Chuck Grassley

Richard Bender served on former Iowa U.S. Senator Tom Harkin’s staff and previously worked for the late former U.S. Sen. John Culver. His long career in public service included devising and implementing the Iowa caucus system used by Democrats since the 1970s.

I have been involved in more than 20 Iowa general elections, working for the Iowa Democratic Party for five years and for U.S. Representative and then Senator Tom Harkin for 37 years. I believe Mike Franken is the most logical choice for Democrats in the June 7 primary because he is best positioned to win and has the experience to be a quality senator.

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What the Supreme Court said—and didn't say—in Finkenauer case

The Iowa Supreme Court surprised many in the political and legal worlds on April 15 with a unanimous judgment reinstating U.S. Senate candidate Abby Finkenauer to the Democratic primary ballot.

Five justices resolved an apparent contradiction between two parts of Iowa’s election law by saying an incorrect or missing date is not a valid reason for not counting a signature on a candidate’s petition. They reversed a Polk County District Court, which days earlier reached the opposite conclusion: that an undated signature cannot be counted, and therefore Finkenauer did not qualify for the ballot.

Two justices concurred with the outcome of reversing the lower court but did not explain their reasoning.

The result was a big loss for Republican plaintiffs who challenged the State Objection Panel’s decision to let three disputed signatures on Finkenauer’s petitions stand. It’s also an embarrassment for Republican legislators who moved last year to limit the panel’s discretion.

By deciding this case on narrow grounds, the Iowa Supreme Court left some big legal questions to be adjudicated another election year.

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Judge rules Abby Finkenauer should be off primary ballot

A Polk County District Court has handed a big win to Republicans seeking to knock Abby Finkenauer off the Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate.

Judge Scott Beattie ruled on April 10 that the State Objection Panel used the wrong legal standard when it counted signatures with missing or incorrect dates. Consequently, the court found, Finkenauer’s campaign “has failed to submit at least 100 signatures from at least 19 counties” as required by Iowa law.

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