First district primary Democratic candidates, Rowe & Ramsey - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

First district primary Democratic candidates, Rowe & Ramsey

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For Iowa, primary day is on Tuesday; on the Democratic ballot are four candidates for the 1st congressional district to run against incumbent representative, Rod Blum.

Those running include State Representative Abby Finkenauer of Dubuque, Thomas Heckroth of Cedar Falls, George Ramsey and Courtney Rowe, both from Cedar Rapids.

The winner will face off against Blum in November. Blum has held the seat since 2015.

On Monday night, as the hours ticked down until the primary election both Ramsey and Rowe were making phone calls and door knocking to spread the messages of their campaigns.

Rowe is an aerospace engineer. She's running a grassroots campaign that takes no money from PACs or lobbyists.

"We can't solve the problems that we have as long as people are profiting from the corruption in our government, are the ones that are paying for the campaigns," she said.

Ramsey is an army veteran. He's running to be a candidate built on leadership.

"I spent 31 years serving in the military. That was the start of my lifetime commitment to service and where I learned to lead. Washington is starving for bold new leadership," he said.

For the two candidates, healthcare and education came at the forefront of issues.

"I support universal healthcare and I do believe that we need to fully fund education so that we're creating innovation in our schools so students have a greater opportunity," Ramsey said.

Rowe said she wants tuition free colleges and trade schools on top of single payer medicare for all.

"My campaign is based on helping everybody become their best, most productive self, and I don't want anybody to be held back from being able to achieve their potential in our country by limitations and some of those limitations are education and job training," she said.

Among other issues on her campaign platform, Rowe supports sustainable agriculture and water quality, a homeowner green energy plan, small business development, and the legalization of cannabis.

Ramsey said he also wants to be a candidate who is accessible for all. He said he doesn't believe incumbent Blum offers that.

"We've seen that Rob Blum hasn't been accessible to his constituents," Ramsey said. "If we're going to be the kind of representative who represents all Iowans and not just a few of us we have to be accessible, we have to be accountable of the decisions that we're making in Washington."

Also, in his campaign platform, Ramsey supports better healthcare for veterans, reducing the mass incarceration of nonviolent offenders, jail reform, and strengthening the bond between the United States and Israel.

Both support a $15 minimum wage hike.


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