U.S. Senate candidate Admiral Mike Franken promises to be a strong voice for Iowa

Iowa Senate candidate Admiral Mike Franken will prioritize education, voting rights and sustainability if elected. Franken is running against former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenaur in the race against Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

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Larry Phan

U.S. Senate candidate Mike Franken speaks at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.

Emily Delgado, Politics Reporter


Admiral Mike Franken will prioritize voting rights, sustainability, and education if elected to the U.S. Senate, he told students at a meeting with University Democrats at Iowa on Wednesday. 

“I believe in the United States, we’ve made great strides, but there’s more to do,” Franken said to the University Democrats at Iowa  at their meeting on Wednesday. 

Franken, a former Admiral for the United States Navy, has a background of working in politics and was one of the Democratic candidates for the US Senate in 2020, placing second in the primary behind Theresa Greenfield. 

Franken worked for President Barack Obama as his Chief of Legislative Affairs and worked as a legislative fellow for Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

Franken’s main opponent in the Democratic primary to run against seven-term Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is former U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer. 

Franken told eight people gathered at the Iowa Memorial Union that a key difference between him and Grassley is his belief system. He described himself as pro-democracy, specifically a firm believer in universal suffrage. 

“Representative democracy is omnipotent in my eyes,” Franken said. 

As a native Iowan, Franken has seen the Iowa education system change for the worse throughout the years and said he will prioritize improving the education system if elected. 

“Ultimately, I want to make America the educational leader because it was good for me. And it was my springboard and I wanted to be every everybody had that opportunity,” Franken said in an interview to The Daily Iowan. 

One goal Franken wishes to accomplish is seeing college students graduate with as little debt as possible, he said. A way Franken wants to accomplish this is by enhancing Pell grants. 

“We shouldn’t be making a profit on young people’s education, either technical or otherwise,” Franken said. 

If elected, Franken wants to advance Iowa’s infrastructure while keeping sustainability in mind. 

“I would love to have Des Moines and this campus connected by a levitated train going 200 miles…it’s an efficient way to move and it’s responsible from an environmental perspective,” Franken said. 

Franken said it is essential to talk to people of all walks of life to get elected in Iowa. 

Franken encouraged the gathered members of the UI Democrats to ask questions and get to know him better. 

“My job number one, I know how to do things in Washington, D.C.,” Franken said. “I believe that  people are genuinely looking for what’s better in their lives and the next generation, that’s my job,” he said. 

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