Labor Day is often called a kickoff day for the fall campaign, but early voting in Iowa starts in just 27 days. Most of the high-profile federal candidates in Iowa started airing campaign ads in August.
Republican Senator Chuck Grassley is seeking a seventh term in the U.S. Senate. Grassley’s doing something in 2016 that’s been rare in his senate career — he’s running an ad criticizing his Democratic opponent.
“It’s my job as one of 24 states where there are Republicans up for reelection to make sure that I’m a good trustee of your money and work hard to make sure that Iowa does not turn Democrat in the United States Senate,” Grassley told delegates at the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention.
Democrat Patty Judge has said she’s running against Grassley because he’s “not paying attention” to the nation’s problems.
“A wise man once said that if you are not a part of the solution, then you are part of the problem and I think today we’ve got a United States senator who is not proposing solutions and that’s my opponent, Chuck Grassley,” Judge said during a speech on The Des Moines Register’s Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair.
Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa City is seeking a sixth term in the U.S. House. Loebsack is the only Democrat in Iowa’s congressional delegation. He’s been campaigning alongside several other Democrats the 2016 ballot, including candidates for the legislature.
“We know that if we accomplish all those goals this time, and I know we can do it, we will be set for 2018 to make sure that we get a governor in office in Iowa who knows Iowa values, who’ll work for progressive values,” Loebsack said during remarks at the Progress Iowa ‘Corn Feed’ in late August.
Chris Peters, a surgeon from Coralville who was a Libertarian Party candidate for the state legislature in 2010, is the Republican challenging Loebsack this fall.
“I believe that partisan politics have greatly diminished our country and coarsened our public discourse,” Peters said during a speech at the State Fair. “I don’t believe a particular candidate is good or bad just because they have an R or a D after their name and I don’t believe an idea is better or worse simply because one member of a party or another proposed it.”
During a speech at Senator Joni Ernst’s 2016 “Roast and Ride” last weekend, Republican Rod Blum of Dubuque promised that if he’s elected to a second term representing Iowa’s first congressional district, he will “stand up to the GOP when it’s necessary.”
“In general, I’m a businessperson,” Blum said in August during remarks at a banking convention. “I’m a member of the ‘Yellow Pages Caucus’ in Washington and that caucus says if you can go through the Yellow Pages and find a private sector company that’s providing that service, the government shouldn’t be providing that service.”
Monica Vernon, a member of the Cedar Rapids city council, is the Democrat challenging Blum.
“We have got to get an economy that works for everyone,” Vernon told members of “Progress Iowa” in August. “…We’ve got to get equal pay for equal work and that’s not just a woman’s issue. When women succeed, families succeed and when families succeed our communities do so much better.”
Republican David Young of Van Meter is the other first-term congressman from Iowa, seeking reelection in the third district this November.
“I’m on a bill called ‘No Budget, No Pay’ and it simply says this: if you don’t do a federal budget by law annually, well, then you should have your pay withheld and you shouldn’t get that paycheck until you get the budget done,” Young said on The Register’s Soapbox at the State Fair. “…I am the only member of congress who has followed up on that…not taking a paycheck from you, the taxpayer.”
Jim Mowrer of Des Moines is the Democrat challenging Young this year.
“My campaign is focused on my working families agenda, ensuring that every single working family in Iowa and across the country is able to make it,” Mowrer said at the “Corn Feed” fundraiser for Progress Iowa. “Raising the minimum wage: if you work 40 hours a week in this country, you should not live in poverty.”
Republican Congressman Steve King of Kiron is seeking reelection to an eighth term in the U.S. House.
“What is an FSCCC? Well that would be a full-spectrum constitutional Christian conservative,” King said during a speech at the Iowa Republican Party’s state convention. “I’m happy to be an FSCCC.”
Kim Weaver, a social worker from Sheldon, is the Democrat who’s challenging King and she’s been telling crowds she was recently inducted into the “Daughters of the American Revolution.”
“I am a proud descendent of a real patriot that fought against the tyranny of the king,” Weaver said at the Progress Iowa event last Sunday, “so even though it’s going to be difficult, we need to show the nation that the descendent of a true patriot can dethrone yet another King.”
Iowa law allows early voting to start on Thursday, September 29th this year. Iowans can walk into their county auditor’s office on that day, ask for an absentee ballot and vote. Iowans can ask for an absentee ballot through the mail and vote throughout October and early November. Absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday, November 7, 2016 if they’re mailed back in.
Read more about early voting and deadlines on the Iowa Secretary of State’s website.