Dems get behind businesswoman challenging Joni Ernst

Dems get behind businesswoman challenging Joni Ernst
© Stefani Reynolds

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is backing businesswoman Theresa Greenfield (D) in her bid to challenge Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstDemocrats spend big to put Senate in play Houston police chief excoriates McConnell, Cornyn and Cruz on gun violence GOP senators unveil bill to expand 'opportunity zone' reporting requirements MORE (R-Iowa), an early finger on the scale for a candidate who will first have to clear a Democratic primary.

Greenfield, who briefly ran for a seat in Congress now held by Rep. Cindy AxneCindy AxneIowa Democrat tops Ernst in third-quarter fundraising for Senate race Pelosi-backed group funding ads for vulnerable Democrats amid impeachment inquiry Centrist House Democrats press for committees to follow pay-go rule MORE (D-Iowa), announced earlier this week she would challenge the Republican first-time senator.

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In a statement, DSCC Chairwoman Catherine Cortez MastoCatherine Marie Cortez MastoSenate confirms Trump's 50th circuit judge, despite 'not qualified' rating Democrats challenge South Carolina law requiring voters to disclose Social Security numbers Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers MORE (D-Nev.) said Greenfield was the best fit for the state.

“Growing up on her family’s farm, Theresa learned early on that when a job needs to get done, it doesn’t matter who you are — you need to step up and complete the task,” Cortez Masto said. “Theresa’s proven she’s not afraid of a challenge.”

EMILY’s List also said Thursday it would back Greenfield, giving her access to early money from the group’s list of big and small donors alike.

She won quick endorsements from three state senators, two state representatives and prominent Democratic leaders including former state party chairs Sue Dvorsky and Andy McGuire.

Two other candidates, attorney Kimberly Graham (D) and insurance broker Eddie Mauro (D), who also ran for Congress in 2018, are already in the race.

Greenfield is making her first run for statewide office after her 2018 campaign for Congress floundered.

Days before a key filing deadline, Greenfield withdrew her petition to get on the ballot after she discovered her then-campaign manager had falsified voter signatures. Greenfield was unable to muster the necessary signatures before the filing deadline, and she dropped out.

The eventual Democratic nominee will face a tall order in unseating Ernst, who won her seat with 52 percent of the vote in 2014. Fifty-seven percent of Iowa voters said they approved of Ernst’s job performance in a February poll conducted by veteran pollster J. Ann Selzer.

And Iowa is a key state on President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by AdvaMed - House panel expected to approve impeachment articles Thursday Democrats worried by Jeremy Corbyn's UK rise amid anti-Semitism Warren, Buttigieg duke it out in sprint to 2020 MORE’s path to 270 electoral votes. He won Iowa by nearly 150,000 votes in 2016, a margin of almost 10 percentage points.