Radio Iowa’s “Campaign Countdown” series continues with a look at another statewide race. Iowa’s long-time attorney general faces a well-financed challenger this fall. Listen to Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson report: Attorney General 2:39 MP3
Republican Brenna Findley has raised over half-a-million dollars to try to defeat Democrat Tom Miller, who is seeking an eighth term as Iowa’s attorney general. The Republican Party of Iowa helped Findley’s bottom line by donating over half a million in the past three months.
According to the latest campaign disclosure reports, Miller has raised about $400,000 for his reelection bid. That means Findley has a more than two-to-one advantage in campaign cash.
Findley grew up in Dexter, got her law degree from the University of Chicago and left her job as Congressman Steve King’s chief of staff early this year to run for state attorney general.
“I knew it was the right year to run this year because I’m 34 years old and when I looked back in the history books it turns out that our current attorney general was my age when he ran for attorney general and beat the incumbent,” Findley said at a GOP rally in June.
Miller, a native of Dubuque who turned 66 in August, got his law degree from Harvard in 1969 and set up a law firm in McGregor in 1973. He won his first term as the state’s attorney general in 1978. Miller was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in 1990, then he became a partner in a Des Moines law firm.
Miller was reelected as attorney general in 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006. “I love this job and I appreciate the opportunity to be attorney general for a few times, now, and I love it ’cause I have a passion for using the law to serve the interests of ordinary Iowans,” Miller said last week during a debate at the University of Iowa Law School. “That’s our pole star.”
Findley has criticized Miller for failing to join a lawsuit that charges the federal health care reform plan is unconstitutional. Miller has said the other state attorneys general who’re suing have no legal footing for their case. Findley’s newest campaign ad criticizes Miller for failing to meet a deadline on a case involving two sex offenders.
“Not missing deadlines — that’s job one for the attorney general’s office,” Findley said during the debate at the U-of-I. “And I’ll approach that very carefully and to make sure we have several systems in place to make sure no deadlines are missed.” There’s more to the story, Miller says, and it involves court schedules, appeals and Supreme Court decisions. “You know, we’re not perfect, but we do a great job,” Miller said during a recent appearance on Iowa Public Television. “We prosecute criminals. We do the sex predators. Our record is a strong one. We have among the best prosecutors, the best lawyers in the state.”
The two have had one debate. It was held last week at the University of Iowa Law School. They also made a joint appearance on Iowa Public Television this month.