Franken campaign release:
In a surprising upset, Michael Franken won the Democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate primary and will challenge Senator Charles Grassley, who has served in Congress for the last 47 years.
“This is a victory for Democrats and victory for Iowa,” said Franken, retired US Navy Vice Admiral. “We rose to the top because Iowans are calling for change. And I wouldn’t be here without the incredible backing of my family, our team, and our incredible volunteers and supporters. Iowa needs a Senator who will work on behalf of Iowans, not corporate interests. I promise I will never be bought. Iowa needs a leader who will solve difficult problems and provide innovative solutions that will improve the lives of the people across our state. Change is coming, and I am honored to lead that change. The first step is to defeat Chuck Grassley on November 8. I congratulate Abby and Glen on a good, honorable race. And I look forward to working alongside my fellow Democratic candidates and supporting candidates down the ballot across Iowa.”
“I am going to hold Chuck Grassley accountable on his voting record, and build a strong coalition of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. I will outwork Grassley.”
Franken beat long odds to win the primary, but some close to the campaign weren’t as surprised.
“Mike is a serious candidate for a serious time. I’ve worked on political campaigns all my life, and Michael Franken is the best candidate ever to come out of Iowa.” said Nancy Bobo, Polk County Volunteer chair.
“The momentum around Mike has grown. Iowa Democrats want to know that we have a candidate who can beat Chuck Grassley. They want a candidate who will be a strong advocate for Iowans, who knows the value of hard work, and carries the values of Iowa to the U.S. Senate,” said Tracy Smith of Clear Lake. “That’s who Mike is and I can’t wait for the rest of Iowa to meet him and get behind him.”
Terri and John Hale, of Ankeny, said that Franken is the only candidate with a clear and concise plan to address the complex and real needs of older Iowans. “Mike’s plan for older Iowans will make sure that we address rising costs of prescription drugs, access to long-term care and Medicare and more.”
Republican Lora Koch of Bremer County likes Franken’s ideas for gun control. She was leaning toward Franken and then the Cornerstone Church shooting occurred, where her daughter works, and she said, “I don’t ever want to have a message like that from my daughter again. Senator Grassley is opting out of a strong stand for gun control.” Said Koch, “Sporting goods stores should not be selling weapons of war. The AR 15 is a weapon of war and Michael Franken understands what it can do and why it should not be available in America.”
“I like the fact that Franken was the only voice at the table to say it is not a good idea to go into Iraq back in 2002. As a junior naval officer, that took a great deal of courage and integrity,” said Terry Philips of Washington, Iowa. “The country needs someone who fully understands appropriations and the military industrial complex as well as Admiral Franken does. His training as a scientist and as an engineer will serve us well as important climate and energy policies are developed and legislation crafted. ”