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Iowa’s Fourth Congressional candidates joined Sen. Joni Ernst for a federal candidate forum in Spencer on Wednesday night.

Theresa Greenfield, the Democrat nominee for U.S. Senate, failed to show. Greenfield, who won a contested Democrat primary, was invited but didn’t attend.

State Sen. Zach Whiting essentially said Greenfield is utilizing a bold strategy to try and win a statewide election.

“Right now we’re in the heart of campaign season, somewhere in the ballpark of 70 days left, you don’t get to not show up places,” Whiting said. “Particularly when you’re running against an incumbent United States Senator.”

With Iowans being used to vetting candidates for every level of political office thanks to its first-in-the-nation status, refusing to show up isn’t likely to help Greenfield gain favor.

“We demand, Iowans demand access to and exposure to candidates for office,”Whiting said. “It really is unfortunate and I think it’s telling that she decided not to show up.”

Even if Greenfield were there, Whiting said she would have struggled to compete with Ernst’s record.

“She’s a great champion for rural Iowa, from rural Iowa,” he said. “Her debate performance that she put in tonight — it didn’t matter if Theresa Greenfield showed up or not, (Ernst) put in a masterful performance.”

It is almost always a joke when a candidate claims victory at a debate or a forum. But this time it is no laughing matter.

A person running for U.S. Senate chose not to attend and let Iowans know where she stands on various issues. She refused to answer questions.

And this is the same candidate who, for whatever reason, has not allowed cameras at her events.

Greenfield is a real estate executive from Des Moines. If she wants to avoid being considered an elitist real estate executive from Des Moines, maybe she should stop acting like one. Show up to the forums. Show up to the debates. Earn the job if you really want it.

Instead Greenfield refused. She couldn’t even show up to share her ideas, her beliefs and her positions with Iowa voters.

Agree or disagree with Ernst’s positions, and it is more than fair to disagree or agree, at least she showed up and was willing to let Iowans hear from her.

That’s no surprise. Ernst has held a number of town halls through the COVID pandemic to hear from Iowans and to allow Iowans to hear from her.

To quote J.D. Scholten, the lone Democrat at the forum, you can’t fake showing up.

Greenfield won a competitive primary for the nomination. It’s hard to imagine any of the others in that field would be refusing to debate, refusing to share their views with Iowans.

Every Democrat in Iowa should be disappointed with Greenfield’s decision to ignore Iowans. Democrats who voted in the U.S. Senate primary, all 271,503 of them, didn’t have anyone representing them in the debate either. They didn’t have a seat at the table.

Well, they did, it just remained empty.

Greenfield’s absence is a disservice to the electoral process. And it’s a black eye for democracy in Iowa.


Author: Jacob Hall