This year of midterm elections will have several highly contested races in our area of Iowa and Illinois – races for governor in both states, both state legislatures, in Congress, House and Senate seats.

Chuck Grassley’s decision to run for an eighth term in the U. S. Senate at 88 years old has four Democrats itching to take his job. They are Abby Finkenauer, Michael Franken, Glenn Hurst and Bob Krause.

Let’s follow the money in this senate primary with a look at the cash on hand in campaign accounts at the end of the third quarter. Fourth quarter reports aren’t in yet.

Krause and Franken joined the race in the fourth quarter so there’s nothing to show for them.

Finkenauer has close to $600,000 and Hurst is behind at $32,000. Even Finkenauer’s money pales in comparison to the more than $3 million Chuck Grassley has in his coffers.

We will get to know Abby Finkenauer a little bit this morning.

She clearly was drawn to politics at an early age. As a teenager, she was a page for Iowa Congressman Jim Nussle. In college she was the Iowa volunteer coordinator for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in 2007.

Finkenauer was elected to two terms in Iowa House of Representatives, serving Dubuque, then made the jump to Congress where she served one term, but lost her re-election bid to current Congresswoman Ashley Hinson.

Abby Finkenauer, 33, brings the most prominent legislative experience of the three Democrats running for the nomination.

“I saw these folks be there for decades who don’t even know why they’re running any more,” she said. “Folks who are getting committee assignments because they’ve been there the longest, not because they actually know the most about that particular subject. That’s why our democracy is in trouble right now.”

Hear what else Finkenauer has to say in the video.

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