Calling on new voters: What you need to know about the 2022 Iowa candidates for U.S. Senate

As Iowa approaches Novembers election, new PV voters are finally able to exercise their right to vote.

Carol M. Highsmith via Wikipedia

As Iowa approaches November’s election, new PV voters are finally able to exercise their right to vote.

Allisa Pandit, Innovation Manager

No matter one’s political affiliations, election season allows Americans to enact their right to vote. For seniors at PV, the upcoming November election season allows 18 year olds to participate in their first ever election: the Iowa election. 

While voters are also considering candidates for other positions in the U.S. government, voters must take a moment to look into the background of their Senate candidates.

“I just turned 18, so I’m very excited to be able to vote,” said senior Tanisha Nanisetty. “Voting is a right everyone looks forward to, so I want to make sure I’m educated about the decisions I make.”

With three Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates, the possibilities lie within doctors, veterans, former House members and many more. Take a look into the specifics of each Senate candidate:

Democratic candidates

Abby Finkenauer holds a strong foothold in Iowa’s political atmosphere. Serving as the U.S. representative for Iowa’s first congressional district from 2019 to 2021, Finkenauer holds the title for the youngest woman ever to pass a bill in the House. Finkenauer comes from a working-class family that taught her to respect others, never think you are better than others and always be ready to solve problems. She showcases her love for family through traditions of public service. Motivated by those she loves, Finkenauer became one of the first women to represent Iowa in the House of Representatives.

Mike Franken has dedicated most of his life to service, serving as a U.S. Navy Admiral for over 36 years. As the political landscape of the U.S. has drastically changed over the past few years, Franken hopes to heal the tensions between Iowa’s population of Democrats and Republicans. His agenda includes ideas of fairness and equality, democracy and the health of Iowa. He believes that a term in the Senate can bring Iowans back together. 

Glenn Hurst serves as a doctor at a rural Iowa private practice. Hurst’s work in the medical field implored him to fight for Medicare for All, support labor unions and raise wages. In addition, his work as a Minden City Council Member and Rural Caucus Chair Iowa Democrats have pushed him towards his candidacy for Iowa Senate. Born on a U.S. military base in Germany, Hurst has also been featured on national television networks for his work with the COVID-19 crisis. 

Republican candidates

Chuck Grassley currently serves as the incumbent to the U.S. senate position the others candidates are also running for. Because of his prior work in the Senate, Grassley has been publicly challenged for this position, especially by Democratic candidates. Growing up as a farmer and living through the Great Depression, Grassley’s experiences instilled values of fiscal conservatism throughout his youthful years. With his farming background and passion for politics, Grassley hopes to add to his nearly 41 years of service on the U.S. Senate.

Jim Carlin was the first candidate between both parties to announce his running for the race. Although sharing the same party as Grassley, Carlin has been vocal about his discrepancies with the incumbent. As a trial lawyer and Army veteran, Carlin values conservative leadership and the future freedom in America. Although Carlin is no native to Iowa, he fell in love with its environment and has pursued his law and political career in Iowa since. 

Looking over the profiles of Iowa’s US Senate candidates, new PV voters now have the ability to exercise their right to vote. Senior Raksha Kumar commented on her new ability to vote. “I turn 18 in a few months, so I’m glad I’ll be able to be a part of the voting process. I’ve been politically active my whole life, so I can’t wait to actually exercise my right to vote,” she said. Voting is a significant practice for not only American citizens, but also individuals in other democracies. With a new fundamental right, new PV students must exercise their right to vote for the first time in the November 2022 election.