Iowa City businesswoman first to file candidacy for Loebsack’s seat in Congress


Wyatt Dlouhy

Veronica Tessler, owner of the frozen yogurt shop Yotopia, asks Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii a question during a meet-and-greet at Yotopia in Iowa City on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Attendees gathered to listen to Gabbard discuss topics such as defunding regime changing wars, environmental policies, and medicare for all.

Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

Iowa City business owner and Democratic activist Veronica Tessler is the first to file her candidacy for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District in 2020, federal elections online records show.

Tessler filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on April 4 as a challenger to incumbent Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa. He announced a week later he would not be seeking re-election after 13 terms in office.

Statements of candidacy are required to be signed by the candidate.

Tessler owns frozen yogurt shop Yotopia, is the co-founder and co-owner of Maker’s Loft,  and is one of the producers of the Iowa-based political podcast Political Party Live.

Tessler did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

A number of other politicians have expressed interest in the seat, includingRita Hart, the 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor and former state senator from rural Clinton County, Sen. Chris Cournoyer, R-Le Claire, Sen. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, Sen. Kevin Kinney, D-Oxford, Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Ottumwa, Ian Russell, a Democratic attorney from Davenport, and previous Loebsack challenger Christopher Peters.

Other politicians have had their names brought up as possible contenders for the race including Republican Fort Madison Mayor Brad Randolph, 2018 Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Cathy Glasson, and Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City.

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