Greenfield wins Democratic primary, will challenge U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst

By: - June 2, 2020 10:54 pm

Democrat Theresa Greenfield gave her victory speech on social media after winning her party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. (Screen shot from Greenfield Facebook video)

Democrat Theresa Greenfield will challenge Republican Sen. Joni Ernst in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race.

The Associated Press projected Greenfield the winner of the June 2 primary. She defeated three other Democrats to win the nomination Tuesday.

Greenfield, 56, a Des Moines businesswoman, received an early endorsement from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee late last year. She far outraised her Democratic challenges with over $6 million in contributions during the cycle.  Ernst, who is seeking a second term, brought in about $7.5 million in contributions during the same period.

Greenfield’s victory speech was delivered in a live video on her campaign Facebook page, reflecting a campaign in which online communication replaced in-person rallies because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Tens of thousands of Iowans are sick or out of work. Our small businesses are worried about keeping the lights on and many have closed,” she said.

Her remarks also referenced the national outcry over the death of George Floyd, who died in the custody of Minneapolis police after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes.

“And this past week has been a reminder of how much injustice still exists in our black and brown communities in Iowa and across this country. Justice for George Floyd is just a start,” she said. “We need long-term, systemic change to end racism and racial disparities in policing, housing, health care, education and so much more.”

Also running were retired Navy admiral Michael Franken, 62, of Sioux City; Kimberly Graham, a 56-year-old lawyer from Indianola, and Eddy Mauro, a 57-year-old businessman from Des Moines.

Sen. Joni Ernst speaks during a video her office produced about her tele-town hall on May 20, 2020.

Ernst was unopposed in the Republican primary.  She also streamed election-night remarks on her Facebook page. She acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic and thanked essential workers “who are out there every single day supporting Iowa and our families, whether you’re truck drivers, grocers, and certainly those health care professionals who are out there battling COVID-19 on those front lines.”

More primary election results

House District 1:   Republican Ashley Hinson, a state representative from Marion, will take on Democratic Rep. Abby Finkenauer in the general election. The AP projected that Hinson, 36, defeated Decorah cattle rancher and businessman Thomas Hansen to win the GOP nomination.

House District 2: Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks, a state senator from Ottumwa, was projected the winner in this open seat, besting four other GOP candidates. She will run against Democrat Rita Hart in the general election.  Democratic incumbent Rep. Dave Loebsack did not seek re-election.

Also running were former Illinois congressman Tommy Schilling of LeClaire, Pella businessman Rick Phillips, Knoxville electrician Steven Everly, and Iowa City businessman Tim Borchardt.

House District 3:  The fall campaign will be a rematch between incumbent Democrat Cindy Axne and Republican David Young.  The Associated Press projected Young would win the GOP nomination Tuesday over William Schafer, a career Army colonel from Prole. Young lost the seat to Axne in 2018 after serving two terms.

House District 4:  The Associated Press has projected that Congressman Steve King of Kiron, seeking a 10th term in Congress, has lost his primary bid to state Sen. Randy Feenstra of Hull. Three other GOP challengers also running for the GOP nomination in a race that generated national interest. Read more.

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