August 16, 2022

DeJear, Franken campaign in Adair County

Surrounded by the legacy of Henry Wallace and his public service, Iowa Democrat candidate for governor Deidre DeJear and Senate candidate Michael Franken spoke to area Democrats Tuesday, July 26 during a campaign stop at the Wallace Farm east of Orient.

DeJear is running against Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds and Franken is facing longtime Republican incumbent Charles Grassley on the Nov. 8 ticket.

“Something better is possible for all of us,” DeJear said to an audience made up of Democrats from Union, Adair, Madison and Ringgold counties. DeJear is a native of Mississippi, educated in Oklahoma and graduated from Drake in Des Moines. She opened her business nearly 15 years ago to find small businesses access to affordable marketing and business strategies during the brink of the Great Recession.

“I will tell you what Iowa nice and what it really means to me,” she said. “See the humanity that exists in one another. That pathway is there, but it is getting smaller and smaller under this leadership.”

DeJear said Iowa must improve its public education system as she said Iowa is falling farther down the list of states with quality education. DeJear said Iowa could have improved its education funding if Reynolds did not return the federal government’s $97 million “all because of politics.”

“She is grossly under-funding education and we are better than that,” she said. “Every Iowa student should have access to quality, public education.”

DeJear was also critical of how Reynolds handles the state’ labor pool. Legislation approved by Reynolds cut unemployment benefits in half.

“That’s not a solution,” DeJear said.

She said the state’s lack of investments inhibits people from getting jobs. She also does not like how the state ended collective bargaining.

“The state has to restore it and enhance it,” she said.

DeJear also wants to improve health and mental-health care in the state. She explained a story of a Dubuque father who took his troubled son to an emergency room and need a psychiatrist. The father was told it was a two week wait to get help.

“We face more and more of a crisis,” she said.

Franken, a native of Sioux County Iowa, and a retired Navy Admiral, is facing Grassley who started in 1980 in the Senate. But Franken said Grassley has changed during his terms. After his extensive military service, Franken helped with the work of Ted Kennedy and President Barack Obama.

“He’s not the same guy,” Franken said. “Something happened 15 to 20 years ago that has made him quite the different person. We have a wealth of opportunities to describe to Iowa where Charles Grassley is no longer the person we thought he was and where the failings of his service comes to fruition and when it’s time for change.”

Franken said the Grassley campaign has been asked to have a debate in each of Iowa’s four congressional districts.

Franken said the work is about judgement.

“In this line of work you need to have judgement. You can’t necessarily be 100% on your party. I’m not. No one is and should be a free thinking individual. You got to have judgement, leadership, sympathy, empathy, bot to be a person who is approachable, alignable. Have the desire to do your best.” He called public service a duty.

Franken said Grassley’s 48% approval rating includes 4 to 5% Democrats who have regularly voted for him.

“I don’t owe dark money sources. I owe the citizens of Iowa and the citizens of this nation.” Franken claims half of the ZIP codes in the country have sent him contributions.

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.