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 ErnstGun control activists set to flex muscle in battle for Senate Businesses, farmers brace for new phase in Trump trade war Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules 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 AxneAssault weapons ban picks up steam in Congress GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Iowa Democrat calls foul on White House over Trump ethanol tour invite 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 MastoDemocrats press Trump Treasury picks on donor disclosure guidelines McConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch The Hill's Morning Report - A raucous debate on race ends with Trump admonishment 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 TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies MORE’s path to 270 electoral votes. He won Iowa by nearly 150,000 votes in 2016, a margin of almost 10 percentage points.