DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s officially three weeks until the June primaries and it’s gearing up to be an election like Iowans haven’t seen before.
There are currently four Democrats running against Republican Senator Joni Ernst for a U.S. Senate seat. There will be Republican primaries in all four congressional districts with four Republican challengers facing Representative Steve King, a nine-term congressman.
To fight against COVID-19, the usual campaign strategies of door-knocking and holding town hall meetings have been replaced with Zoom meetings, Facebook live streams, and virtual town halls.
The Benton County Democratic Party chairwoman, Rosemary Schwartz, told The Gazette, campaigns going virtual will benefit better-known and better-financed candidates, which also falls in favor of incumbent leaders.
COVID-19 has not only affected campaign strategies but the overall focus of campaigns as well. Candidates have centered their attention on how the pandemic has affected the ag economy in Iowa and many other issues.
“The COVID-19 epidemic has exposed so many holes in the state of Iowa and this country,” Democratic U.S Senate candidate, Eddie Mauro said. “Whether that has to do with education, whether that has to do with healthcare, whether that has to do with our climate environment, economic security, what we’re doing on a minority impact and on and on.”
Candidates who spoke to WHO 13’s Dave Price on Insiders are convinced the key to winning is demonstrating how to effectively handle a crisis and have an efficient plan to relieve the damage done by the coronavirus in the state.
“We need to be able to look long term, we need to be able to lead with a level head during emergencies and times of crisis,” 4th District Republican candidate, Jeremy Taylor said. “And we need to make sure we are laser focused on the issues at hand that are going to affect our constituents whom’s behalf we serve.”