U.S. Senator Tom Harkin with his choice as the next senator representing Iowa, U.S. Representative Bruce Braley.
Soon after 21st Century Democrats co-founder Tom Harkin announced he wouldn’t run for a sixth term as a U.S. senator representing Iowa, he threw his support behind U.S. Representative Bruce Braley.
“When I was campaigning for Bruce during his first run for Congress in 2006, I knew he was the real thing: a passionate progressive, a natural-born leader. He is someone from humble roots, who, in the time he has been in Congress, has fought for working people and the struggling middle class,” Harkin said.
Progressive Credentials: While in Congress, Braley has worked hard to advance progressive values, currently at the forefront of combating sexual assaults in the military, championing student loan affordability, opposing Internet censorship and supporting marriage equality.
That record earned Braley 21st Century Democrats’ endorsement, along with endorsements from dozens of other organizations and elected officials.
Since declaring his candidacy for the U.S. Senate, 11 labor organizations have formally backed Braley: the Iowa Teamsters, the United Transportation Union, UAW Region 4, SEIU Iowa – Local 199, AFSCME Iowa Council 61, the Iowa State Council of Machinists, the Operating Engineers Local 234, the State Association of Letter Carriers, the Iowa Postal Workers Union, the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 3 Iowa Union, and the Great Plains Laborers’ District Council.
Braley also earned endorsements from Rep. Dave Loebsack, former Rep. Leonard Boswell, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald and more than 70 Democratic Iowa state legislators.
Working from that solid base of statewide support, the Braley campaign has started strong, touring Iowa to hold meet-and-greets and signing up supporters in all 99 counties. As of the end of the first quarter of 2013, Braley had raised $1.1 million, with more than $1 million cash on hand. So far, Braley has two Republicans opponents who will face off in a primary: David Young, a former staffer for U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, and Matt Whitaker, a former U.S. attorney.
Of course, this isn’t Braley’s first campaign. In 2006, with no prior political experience, he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, saying he wanted to stand up for middle-class families who didn’t have a voice in Washington. He was re-elected in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
An attorney who put himself through college and law school, Braley began his career by representing factory workers challenging unsafe company policies. That experience grew into a commitment to fight for people who lost their jobs and pensions, and small businesses struggling with government red tape.
Why We Like Him: Because he made this video:
Candidate Quote: “I am a proud, patriotic, progressive Democrat. And I am oftentimes afraid, but I am never intimidated.”
At the center of Bill Halter’s campaign for Governor of Arkansas is his progressive proposal to pay for college for every eligible high school student in the state.
21st Century Democrats endorses Halter and his groundbreaking scholarship plan,Arkansas Promise, which should be used as a model across the country.
The Halter program would ensure that any Arkansas high school student with a 2.5 GPA would be able to attend college in state with all tuition paid. Funded by a combination of lottery scholarships, philanthropic support, federal grant assistance and the Arkansas Promise, the plan would not raise taxes or increase state spending.
21st Century Democrats, as well as progressives in Arkansas and across the country, most recently supported Halter in the 2010 Senate primary against the incumbent, conservative Democrat Blanche Lincoln, who went on to lose the seat to Republican John Boozman.
Halter’s progressive track record includes championing health care reform, spearheading a free clinic, supporting a minimum wage increase, working for student loan reform, advocating for clean energy and leading on gay rights.
Halter served in the Clinton administration beginning in 1993, working to help trim bureaucratic waste with the Office of Management and Budget. During his six years at OMB, the government’s $290 billion budget deficit turned into a $125 billion surplus, and the United States saw its first balanced budget in 40 years.
President Bill Clinton appointed Halter, a fellow Rhodes Scholar, as deputy commissioner of Social Security in 1999. Halter also served the U.S. Congress as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee and as chief economist for the Senate Finance Committee.