Former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer announces bid for U.S. Senate

Finkenauer said politicians who have been in power for decades, “think they own democracy,” and were silent when it was attacked.


Katie Goodale

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer addresses the audience during Progress Iowa Corn Feed at The Newbo City Market in Cedar Rapids on July 14, 2019. 11 candidates came to speak with supporters and give speeches.

Natalie Dunlap, News Editor

Former Democratic U.S. Representative Abby Finkenauer is running for the U.S. Senate. 

In an announcement video shared on Thursday, Finkenauer said her parents taught her the value of working hard, being humble, and treating people with respect. Finkenauer said she brought those values with her when she was elected to Congress. 

“The politicians who’ve been there for decades don’t really want people like us there. They think they own democracy, and they were silent when it was attacked,” she said. “It’s 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 turned their backs on democracy and on us. They made their choice, and I’m making mine. I’m running for the United States Senate.” 

Finkenauer represented Iowa’s first congressional district in the 116th U.S. Congress. She lost her reelection in November 2020 to Republican Rep. Ashley Hinson. 

During a Democratic fundraising event held in Iowa City several weeks ago, Finkenauer said losing her seat in Congress was tough, but that she has been motivated by the actions of the Republican-controlled state Legislature, which she called an assault on Iowa, their values, and decency, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan.  

“I’m here to tell you this, it has lit a fire in me,” she said on July 2. “I am not done, I have work to do. Iowa has work to do and we are going to, in 2022, bring decency and integrity, and the truth back.” 

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has maintained for months that he will make his decision about pursuing reelection in the fall. 

RELATED:  Iowa Democrats rally in Iowa City to kick off the 2022 election campaign season

Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, said he will be running for the U.S. Senate seat in February — an announcement that prompted the Grassley Committee to send a fundraising email encouraging donations to Grassley.

Finkenauer is the second Democrat to announce their candidacy for the Senate seat. The first was Dave Muhlbauer, the former Vice Chairman of the Crawford County Board of Supervisors. 

“Our campaign is about you,” said Finkenauer, surrounded by supporters in her campaign video. “It’s about our young people who have left, and the Iowans left behind by those at the top, and about those who have been knocked down and getting back up together. That’s the Iowa, that’s the America I’m fighting for.”