CEDAR RAPIDS — Eddie Mauro has seen this movie before, and he didn’t like the ending.
The Des Moines businessman thinks Iowa Democrats, not party leaders in Washington, ought to be choosing their nominee for the U.S. Senate.
“I would think Iowans would be wary of that,” Mauro said during a Thursday stop in Cedar Rapids.
He referred to 2014 when the party decided 1st District Rep. Bruce Braley would be the Senate nominee. Braley lost to Joni Ernst, a state senator.
Two years later, the party in Washington “forced out” state Sen. Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids in favor of former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, who lost to Sen. Chuck Grassley.
“That didn’t turn out very well either,” he said.
This time around, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have decided they want Theresa Greenfield to be their candidate.
“I respectfully disagree with Mr. Schumer,” he said. “I think Iowans deserve a spirited campaign and should make the ultimate decision on who the candidate should be.”
Although being the handpicked candidate of the party’s Washington establishment will make resources available to Greenfield, Mauro isn’t sure it will sway Iowa Democratic primary voters.
“Every day Iowans have no idea what the DSCC is or may not know who Chuck Schumer is,” Mauro said. “Those are the people I need to be talking to anyway.”
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So he’s on the campaign trail talking about his ideas on health care, education, climate change and other issue Iowans care about.
He’s also talking about how Ernst has “sold out this state to special interests, to big industry, to fat cats like the Koch Brothers and they support her generously.”
Ernst, he charged, has done nothing on health care except side with those who want to take away the Affordable Care Act “when she has the best health insurance in the world, which these Iowans paid for.”
Ernst has sided with those who want to take away safe and legal abortion, has not committed to education, affordable housing and paid family leave, and done nothing to combat climate change that impacts farmers, Iowa’s economic security and national security future.
“On the surface, she might look pretty good, but we deserve better and we can do better with a senator who really wants to fight for Iowans,” Mauro said. “I’m running to be a people’s senator.”
Ernst, he added, “has lacked courage to be the servant she set out to be.”
Mauro, 56, who has an insurance business with clients and customers in all 99 counties and has worked in and outside of Des Moines, believes he can reach Democrats and independent voters who didn’t support Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Fred Hubbell in 2018.
And while he won’t be running against President Donald Trump, Mauro expects the president to help him.
“I don’t wish him to do anything that will hurt our country or world ... but the more craziness he does, the better for us,” Mauro said.
For more on Mauro’s campaign, visit eddiemauro.com/.