Rep. Bruce Braley Visits Oskaloosa While Eyeing Senate Seat
Oskaloosa, Iowa – It may seem a bit early for politics, and in years gone by it would have been. Recently, politics have evolved into a near constant cycle of campaigns and candidates.
This past year, Senator Tom Harkin (D) announced his retirement. His Democrat heir apparent, U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley (1st District), was quickly christened the choice of his party to run against a, yet named, Republican opponent for the Senate seat in the 2014 election.
Braley, who’s taking full advantage of the opportunity to be the lone candidate, so far, in this race, has taken to full campaign mode, and took that opportunity to visit five locations in the area on Monday.
“I am glad I am not dealing with the primary right now,” Braley said on Monday morning in a press conference, at Smokey Row, before he met with supporters. As for the primary process, “It’s never fun, because you’re running against people you know and you respect.”
Braley said that he’s currently trying to “put together the framework for a great grassroots organization in all 99 counties.” He explained that in a non-presidential election year, “turn-out is going to be absolutely critical.”
Outgoing Senator Harking officially endorsed Braley for the senate seat in July. The two share some history together.
Braley remembers a rally in 1978 when he was first getting into politics, “I went to a rally for a young congressman named Tom Harkin. So he literally has been my friend, my mentor and my hero ever since then. I’m honored to have Tom’s endorsement to be his successor.”
Braley believes that the type of ‘meet and greet’ opportunities, like the one held at Smokey Row in Oskaloosa on Monday, allow him connect with supporters and to share the message that working and building a grassroots campaign “is absolutely critical to me.”
Braley said that his love of Iowa and caring deeply for the future of Iowa, “I know I can be a strong an effective voice for the people of Iowa.”
Braley drew on memories he has of the area, including an aunt and uncle who call Oskaloosa home, and drew on memories of pitching in baseball games, in little league, that were held in Oskaloosa.
Braley’s schedule took him to Ottumwa next, then to Centerville, Albia and finally Knoxville.