Former Iowa Rep. Abby Finkenauer announced in a video on Thursday that she is running for Senate.
I'm Abby Finkenauer, and I'm running for U.S. Senate because Iowa—and our Democracy—are worth fighting for.
After 46 years in DC, @ChuckGrassley has lost touch with both.
I'm from a proud union family. We don't back down. I'm in this to win.
— Abby Finkenauer (@Abby4Iowa) July 22, 2021
Finkenauer represented Iowa’s 1st Congressional district from 2019 to 2021.
“The politicians who’ve been there for decades… [t]hey think they own democracy, and they were silent when it was attacked. You see its politicians like Senator Grassley and Mitch McConnell, who should know better, but are so obsessed with power that they oppose anything that moves us forward. Since the Capitol was attacked, they’ve turned their backs on democracy, and on us,” Finkenauer said. “They made their choice, and I’m making mine. I’m running for United States Senate.”
Finkenauer is challenging Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, who has served as the Senator of Iowa for 40 years. The Senator has not launched a reelection campaign. According to the Federal Election Commission, the Congressman has earned nearly $2 million in campaign contributions this year.
“This morning, I got up at 4 o’clock like I do six times a week and jogged two miles,” Grassley told reporters in February. “If I can do that every day, I hope nobody has any questions about my ability to conduct a campaign. It’ll be up to the voters to decide whether or not I should be reelected. But I hope they won’t say I can’t conduct a campaign.”
After Finkenauer announced her bid, the Republican Party of Iowa attacked her.
“Let me be as clear as possible – Abby Finkenauer will never represent the state of Iowa in the U.S. Senate,” Jeff Kaufmann Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said. “Iowans know Finkenauer and her disastrous record. It’s why they rejected her last November. No matter how she tries to reinvent herself, Iowans will see that her values and priorities are just the same as AOC’s and Chuck Schumer’s. Finkenauer will fall in line with Democrat leadership every chance she gets in hopes to gain media notoriety. I look forward to seeing even more Iowans reject Finkenauer once again.”
Finkenauer pushed back against the Republicans’ argument that she can’t win a statewide race after losing her reelection bid in 2020.
“In 2020, Republicans spent millions of dollars to try and make sure that somebody like me — who went to Washington, who voted for pay raises for Americans, who voted for better access to child care, who voted for the best infrastructure investment that our country had ever seen — couldn’t get back to Washington,” she said. “They don’t want people like me there — folks who understand working families and aren’t afraid to fight for them.”
Finkenauer only served one term in Congress after flipping her state blue in 2018. She was one of the youngest members of Congress when she was elected. She lost her seat to Republican Representative Ashley Hinson in 2020 by less than 3 percentage points.