5 vie to face Braley

BY KRISTEN EAST | APRIL 14, 2014 5:00 AM

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Cedar Rapids — While Republicans in Iowa may be at odds with each other over the direction of the party, those vying for the state’s vacant Senate seat are in agreement: Any of the five GOP candidates running would make a better senator than Democrat Bruce Braley.

The message was a clear one, as the occasion this past weekend called for riling up a crowd of more than 300 Republican fundraisers and supporters. Four of the five candidates running in the U.S. Senate primary were present at the GOP Lincoln Dinner on April 11. Ames car salesman Scott Schaben was absent because of a prior commitment.

The candidate who wins the June 3 primary will then challenge Democrat and current Rep. Bruce Braley in the general election.

Click here to view an exclusive photo slideshow.

(opens in new window)

The night’s keynote speaker, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called on Republicans to unite behind the nominee after the primary.

Rather than campaigning as candidates, most said they were talking to the crowd as fellow Republicans during their allotted three minutes of speaking time.

Matt Whitaker

Small-business owner Matt Whitaker was the first candidate to speak to the crowd, also being the first to note that he or anyone else on stage would provide a greater service to Iowa as a senator than would Braley.

Whitaker noted his support of the First, Second, and Fourth Amendments after saying the current administration threatens those very rights.

“I believe that standing up for freedom is the calling of our time,” he said.

Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst says she’s running as a mother, a soldier, and a proven conservative.

“I’m running because, as a mother, I’m concerned about the legacy we’ll be leaving our children and grandchildren,” she said.

Ernst has been on a run lately following the release of her campaign ad. According to a Suffolk University poll conducted and released last week, Ernst leads all other candidates in the field, followed closely by businessman Mark Jacobs.

Sam Clovis

Sam Clovis, a college professor in northwest Iowa, said he wasn’t interested in giving just another stump speech and instead opted to talk about “why it’s great to be a Republican.”

He went on to say that if he heads to Washington, D.C., which he believes he will, he will never turn away from Iowa.

“I want you to know that this is about service, this is about selflessness, this is about leadership, this is about principle. Conservative principles,” he said. “I want to be a part of that [Senate]. I want to be on the point, leading the charge, to re-establish liberty.”

Mark Jacobs

Businessman Mark Jacobs, who has never been elected to office, focused primarily on talk of the general election, saying he was looking forward to the race between a “lifelong politician” — that being Braley — and himself as a “proven businessman.”

In today's issue:

Privacy Policy (8/15/07) | Terms of Use (4/28/08) | Content Submission Agreement (8/23/07) | Copyright Compliance Policy (8/25/07) | RSS Terms of Use

Copyright © The Daily Iowan, All Rights Reserved.