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.