Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday endorsed Iowa Senate candidate Joni Ernst, arguing the upper chamber could use someone with the Republican's Army National Guard experience.


“Joni Ernst has dedicated her life to the service of others, bravely leading troops in Iraq and safely bringing them home to Iowa. Now Iowans have an opportunity to make her the first female combat veteran to ever serve in the U.S. Senate,” Rice said in a statement released by Ernst’s campaign.

“We need more leaders, like Joni, who understand America’s role abroad and the threats posed against us,” she added.

Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Guard who served in Iraq, is in a tight open seat race against Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyOPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward Trump: Ernst wanted 'more seasoning' before entertaining VP offer MORE (D-Iowa) that has emphasized national security and veterans issues.

Ernst's announcement comes the same day Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFrustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' Poll: Nearly half of Clinton's former supporters back Biden Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE is due to campaign in the Hawkeye State on Braley’s behalf. 

Backing Ernst marks Rice’s latest foray into politics ahead of next week’s midterms. Earlier his month she appeared in a commercial for Alaska Republican Senate hopeful Dan Sullivan, a Marine veteran who served under her during the Bush administration. 

In the ad she claimed Sullivan’s “extensive national security experience will make our country better." 

Rice also she endorsed Sullivan during a hard-fought GOP primary, defending her former employee’s bona fides in a spot for American Crossroads.