Republican AG hopeful Findley aims to defeat seven-term incumbent
Republican Brenna Findley’s campaign for the Iowa attorney general’s office ran through Glidden on Thursday.
Findley, 34, rallied her supporters for a meet-and-greet at the home of John and Cindi Van Horn in Glidden about five weeks ahead of the Nov. 2 election, when Findley hopes to unseat seven-term, Democratic incumbent Tom Miller and become Iowa’s second female attorney general. Democrat Bonnie Campbell held the position from 1991 through ’94 before an unsuccessful campaign for governor.
“I’ve been holding events in all 99 counties across Iowa so I can listen to the people and their concerns,” Findley told the Daily Times Herald before Thursday’s event. “I appreciate the Van Horn’s inviting their friends and neighbors over, so we can discuss how to get Iowa back on track and back to work.”
Farm-raised and homeschooled in Dexter, Findley studied political science, history and Russian at Drake University in Des Moines and graduated with honors.
Upon graduation from the University of Chicago School of Law, Findley worked in private practice in California’s Silicon Valley before a transition to politics led her to serve as U.S. Rep. Steve King’s deputy chief of staff before taking the lead role as chief of staff. As chief of staff she managed King’s five Iowa offices and his one office in Washington, D.C., oversaw the congressman’s office budget, and advised him as a senior Judiciary Committee staff member.
In her first-ever run for public office, Findley’s ditched the idea of a campaign headquarters.
Instead, she said, her office is every home, hall or coffee shop where she has stopped to listen to the concerns of voters over the last several months.
“My campaign is really a grassroots effort,” she said. “I’ve been traveling around the state and listening to people wherever we stop at.
“I have a volunteer who drives me to each stop, so I can make phone calls along the way and check e-mails on the Internet to stay in touch with the people.”
In listening to the voters since she announced her candidacy, Findley said, she‘s found that their biggest concerns are jobs, the economy and government spending.
“Iowans are out of work right now, and they’re going through some tough times,” she said. “As attorney general, I will work to bring jobs to Iowa communities by fighting frivolous litigation that hurts jobs in Iowa.
“I will also help cut the red tape regulations that hurt small businesses. Having grown up on a family-run farm, I know it’s hard for small business owners to deal with the red tape, while also trying to run their businesses. Small-business owners can’t pay for lawyers to help them through it like large corporations can, so I want to be the one to help them.”
Findley said her farm-family roots are part of what has made her a good campaigner and is what will make her a good attorney general as well.
“I was raised on a farm, and I know how to work hard,” she said. “I’ve worked hard on this campaign, and I will continue to work hard as attorney general by cleaning up the culture of corruption in Des Moines and hold people accountable for their actions.”
Findley said her opponent hasn’t gone to bat for the people of Iowa, but she said she would defend Iowans and their laws if she were elected.
“(Miller) refuses to go to court to over the marriage law,” she said. “I believe that marriage is between one man and one woman, and I will defend the laws in court.”
Findley is also against a federal government takeover of health care, and she said, if elected, she would stand up against the government forcing Iowans into healthcare plans.
While she knows that not everyone shares her views, Findley believes voters respect how she’s run her campaign.
“People like that I’m out in every county talking with them, even if they don’t agree me,” she said. “They want new blood in the attorney general’s office, and they know that I will work hard for them as their next attorney general.”
With a few weeks to go before the election, Findley’s campaign plans keep a flexible schedule and goes wherever it’s necessary to make sure voters know her story and stances on the issues before Nov. 2.
She hopes her presence in every Iowa county over the course of the campaign will help her at the polls come Election Day.
“When is the last time the current attorney general came to Carroll County?” she said. “As attorney general, I want to visit here at least once a year. I’m not just here during the campaign. I will stay accountable and accessible to all of the people in Iowa’s 99 counties when I’m attorney general.”
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