# Mike Franken



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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About those nominating petitions

Art Hackett is a Texas born and raised retired TV reporter. He worked in Dubuque in the late 1970s and spent 30 years as a magazine segment producer with Wisconsin Public Television. He moved back to Cedar Rapids in retirement to be close to grandchildren.

Let’s discuss another day the apparent manipulation of the State Objection Panel’s review process. The Republicans on the panel were rejecting signatures due to the lack of dorm room numbers on address lines, even though the Iowa Code doesn’t require them. (I live in a single family home but perhaps they will want to know if I’m sleeping in the first or second floor bedroom.)

What concerns me right now is a flock of candidates who seemed to be shooting for the bare minimum number of signatures.

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On the road with Mike Franken

Julie Gammack reports from the campaign trail. She published a version of this piece on her Substack, Julie Gammack’s Potluck.

I tagged along with retired Vice Admiral Mike Franken last weekend as he campaigned in the northwest Iowa towns of Pocahontas, Storm Lake, Le Mars, and Sioux Center. This part of the state is as red as blood in political jargon. Or barn. It’s so red a dead GOP candidate would likely beat a live Democrat. According to recent filings, D’s aren’t even bothering to field candidates in multiple legislative districts in this corner of the state. 

So I was curious to see if anyone would show up for this scheduled trip. They did. 

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