It seems impossible to think about politics that don’t involve the coronavirus pandemic in some way.
We are focusing our time these days on the Iowa Primary, now less than a month away on June 2.
It’s impossible to avoid the fact the crisis impacts the campaigns and the election.
One of the big primary races is the Republican nomination for Congress to replace Dave Loebsack.
Another is the Democratic contest for the U.S. Senate to challenge incumbent Joni Ernst in November.
Five candidates — Michael Franken, Kimberly Graham, Theresa Greenfield, Eddie Mauro and Cal Woods are running.
There’s a big difference in the money they have.
Greenfield leads at almost $4 million to start the second quarter.
No one is really close.
Franken is almost at $250,000, Graham at roughly more than $41,000 to start the year, Mauro is in the game at $1 million — down about $500,000 from the start of the year — and Woods had not filed a report with the Federal Election Commission.
We got to know Mauro better on 4 The Record this week.
He’s an Iowa native from Des Moines, got his bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and has a certificate in theology from Creighton University, spent decades as a teacher and baseball coach for public and private schools and at one point was a scout for the Cincinnati Reds.
He’s the founder and president of a wholesale insurance company in Des Moines called UIG.
Politically, he’s like all of the Democrats in this race.
Mauro hasn’t held elected office before, but not for a lack of trying.
He ran for Iowa state representative in 2016 and lost in the primary.
Two years later he lost in the Democratic primary for Congress for a seat Cindy Axne went on to win in November.
He created a social justice advocacy group called A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy.
Mauro believes his experience as a teacher, coach and business owner is the right mix to be productive in D.C.
Nothing comes easy in this contest to be the Democratic party’s Senate nominee.
I spoke with Mauro on Thursday using Zoom and discussed why running for the United States Senate — one of the most powerful jobs in the country — makes sense at this point in his political career and why he expects a different result this time.
Five Democrats are in the primary. Those are long odds in itself.
Mauro talked about how he compete with Greenfield having almost four times the money and the party establishment behind her and what makes him think he’s more qualified than her — or the other candidates for that matter.
Mauro is among four of the candidates who seem to hold more moderate positions.
Graham is more liberal than the rest of the field.
Mauro addressed how concerned he is that the four moderates could split that part of the vote and open the door for her to win the primary.
Traditional campaigning came to a screeching halt once the pandemic hit.
Mauro discussed how hard that has made things for him to reach voters in Iowa who are used to personal contact with candidates.
Watch the full discussion in the video above.
Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you. It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.