When I was running for Congress I was running against two other Democrats in the primary for the nomination. Naturally, the political stump is competitive as it is essential to differentiate ourselves so that voters can make a decision, but, my strategy from the beginning was to clarify myself, rather than define the other two.
“I’m not running against anyone,” was my opening salvo. “I am running for the office.”
The truth was that three accomplished, informed, and credible candidates were running for Iowa’s First District. We were also three very different people. I include myself in that assessment, at the risk of sounding braggadocios, but I would not have run if I didn’t feel that I was qualified.
I left that race, however, when a series of debates that I was counting on for media attention were cancelled. The viability of a path to victory was greatly diminished. I immediately (and enthusiastically) entered a race for the State House, leaving the two other candidates to vie for the Congressional nomination.
Also, upon leaving the race I endorsed Monica Vernon. I learned firsthand throughout the campaign, from other Democrats and from my own observation, that Monica Vernon has the right combination of skills, connections, experiences, and passion to help working families in Iowa, prioritize education, to promote equality and justice for all, and to continue improving health care, forward environmental concerns, and to grow Iowa businesses.
How we arrive in life at the place where we stand is personal, and the sincerity of our journey should be judged by what we do moving forward and so I do not question the progressive integrity of either candidate. Both are good Democrats. They are passionate about public service, have done great things with their lives and want to take their experiences to Washington to serve Iowans. Most of the progressive principles at stake are issues that all 3 of us shared, with only variations in terms of prioritizing and some policy specifics.
Monica Vernon’s personal story as a mother, a businessperson and member of the Cedar Rapids City Council, have given her insights that are unique toward building Iowa’s infrastructure with an unyielding commitment to Quality of Life.
Her rhetoric has remained positive and compassionate, and those are principles of character that I look for when making an important decision.
What struck me most was that she was willing to listen, and not simply dictate her views. She regards her relationship with Iowans as a partnership and she is eager to listen and to elicit our ideas. That is how it should be and that is a rare quality for a politician. And it’s the one that sealed the deal for me. She is a person before a politician.
Again, I am not against anyone. I stand for certain qualities and principles and I believe that Iowa Democrats have great candidates up and down the ticket in district after district. And I am on record to say: “I enthusiastically endorse Monica Vernon for the United States Congress from Iowa’s First District.”
Learn more at: www.monicavernonforcongress.com