Thursday, March 02, 2006

Fun facts

There's been a lot of news this week about the campaign, and lots of spin. I'm not going to spin what's already been spun.
What I think would be helpful, rather, would be for me to discuss Mom's past political successes. Mom has won many tough elections. The other candidates seeking the office of Iowa Lt. Governor have won a grand total of zero elections. The opponents and their shadowy blogger operatives can spin that all they want, but they cannot change the fact that she has a proven track record of winning by proudly saying what she believes.

Now, I'm going to repeat some things that I have posted before, but I think this is a good time to emphasize this stuff.

Some details:
In 1992, after serving several years as the chair of the Monroe County Democratic Party, Mom was recruited to run for an open Iowa Senate seat that had been created after the 1990 re-districting. It was Senate District 46, and at that time it was the largest Senate district in sheer square miles in Iowa. The district covered Monroe, Appanoose, Davis, Wayne, Lucas and Clarke counties, with a small part of Van Buren County as well.

There was a Democratic Primary that year, and she faced a candidate named Dave Rinehart from Wayne County. I got involved in the process, too. With the help of some of my good friends, I created my own stencil system and hand painted approximately 50 4x8 sheets of plywood. They were bright red, with big white letters that read "Patty Judge State Senate." I still have several shirts, pairs of jeans and other things that are covered in red and white paint Jackson Pollock style. I helped drive these big signs all over the place, standing them up with steel fence posts. She soundly defeated Rinehart in the June election, receiving the first 3,196 votes of her political career. She knew the issues that were important to the people of southern Iowa, and she knew how to communicate her message.

That November, Bill Clinton won the presidency. Mom defeated Republican Richard Arnold and was seated in the Iowa Senate. She received 13,269 votes in that election. Part of her success was the fact that she told people exactly what she believed, and she meant everything she said.
Fast forward to 1996. There was no challenger in the Democratic Primary for Mom's office. She received 3,607 votes in that primary. Later that fall, she was challenged by Republican Claude Neill of Clio. It was a strong victory when she won re-election, receiving 14,181 votes.

In 1998, she was ready for another challenge. Democrats were preparing to take back Terrace Hill after the Branstad years. Mom decided to do what no other woman had ever done, and that was to win the office of Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. She received 85,757 votes in the 1998 June Democratic Primary. Then Sen. Tom Vilsack, who had also entered the Iowa Senate after the 1992 election, became the Democratic nominee for governor.

That summer, I got the chance to be in a TV commercial. It was a very weird experience.

Tom Vilsack's positive message resonated that year, and Mom's straight talking style also appealed to the voters of Iowa. It was another great victory in November. She received 451,715 votes and defeated Republican Dan Brown. And she made history. She broke the glass ceiling on the office of ag secretary in Iowa. No matter what happens in the future, no one can ever take that away.

By 2000, she had become well-known in the national Democratic Party, and was invited to speak at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. She served as party parliamentarian at the convention.
Fast forward to 2002.

Time for the re-election campaign. In the June Primary, she received 73,938 votes. (side note: Republican Bob Vander Plaats received 63,077 votes in the Republican gubernatorial primary). In November, Mom was challenged in the 2002 General Election by a Republican named John Askew, as well as several alternative party candidates. Mom won, receiving 490,561 votes.

In addition to her work in the ag department, she continued to be an active voice in the Democratic Party. She was once again invited to speak at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, where she declared on the stage in Boston that quality health care is a right, and not a privilege. She also had the honor of serving on the Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee with other leaders from around the country.

In her political career, Mom has received an overall grand total of 1,136,274 votes of support. The two other candidates seeking the office of Lt. Governor have received 63,077 votes, and zero votes, respectively.

And in clear contrast to the other candidates, Mom's dedication to the Democratic Party is unquestionable.
I sincerely thank you for your time.

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