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Retired Three-Star Admiral Mike Franken to Challenge Chuck Grassley in U.S. Senate


October 15, 2021

DES MOINES, IA - Today, retired three-star Admiral Michael Franken officially announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination to unseat Senator Charles Grassley in 2022.

“I would like to thank the many supporters who have encouraged me to represent Iowa in the U.S. Senate,” said Franken. “I'll be a Senator for all of Iowa, the rural and urban parts and small towns, because there's more that unites us than divides us. We all want health care we can afford, good jobs that allow young people to stay close to home, and leadership from Washington instead of constant partisan bickering.

“Senator Grassley has served Iowans in some form for seven decades.” Franken continued, “Make no mistake, Senator Grassley is an entrenched, career politician who has fomented Donald Trump’s Big Lie. Grassley did the Republican Party’s dirty work by using his power to obstruct the judicial process multiple times. He has long since morphed into something other than the folksy farmer Iowans sent to Washington 46 years ago.

“It’s finally up to the Democratic voters in Iowa to decide who they want as their nominee to build a more prosperous future for Iowa and this nation. You have my undivided attention, Iowa, and the task is clear--toss out the old campaign playbook and win the election.”

Admiral Franken released a list of endorsements below that included several current and former state legislators and activists from across the state. The Franken campaign is also organizing ninety-nine county captains.

Admiral Mike Franken List of Endorsements

State Rep. Brian Meyer, Polk

Former State Rep. Tim Kacena, Woodbury

State Senator Bill Dotzler, Black Hawk

Nancy Bobo, Polk

Former State Rep. Andy McKean, Jones

Kent Sovern, Polk

Laura Hubka, Howard

State Rep. Beth Wessell-Kroeschell, Story

Francis Boggus, Polk

State Rep. Dave Williams, Black Hawk

State Rep. Amy Nielsen, Johnson

CeCe Ibson, Polk

Jan Bauer, Story

Gary Gelner, Hancock

Former State Rep. Daryl Beall, Webster

Ingrid Olson, Pottawattamie

Rosemary Pratt, Polk

Former State Rep. Mary Mascher, Johnson

General Robert Felderman, Scott

Former State Senator Tom Courtney, Des Moines

Background: Mike Franken, the youngest of nine children, was born and raised in rural NW Iowa. His mother was a one-room schoolhouse teacher. He grew up in his dad’s Lebanon Farm Shop and worked on the farm, in construction, as an engineer for a law firm, and in a local slaughterhouse.

With a wounded WW I Army vet for a grandfather, a WW II father who survived a ship sinking, and other family veterans of the Vietnam War, Franken joined the service in 1978. He retired as a vice admiral in 2017.

Mike and Jordan Franken have two adult children.


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