NARAL endorses Finkenauer in Iowa 1st District

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Calling her a “fierce and passionate ally for women,” NARAL Pro-Choice America has endorsed state Rep. Abby Finkenauer for the Democratic nomination in Iowa’s U.S. House 1st District.

Finkenauer “won’t back down when it comes to fighting for Iowans,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in announcing the pro-abortion rights group’s endorsement of the second-term Dubuque state lawmaker.

“Her commitment to ensuring that women are able to make their own decisions on when, how, and with whom they start a family makes her the champion Iowa families deserve fighting for them,” she said.

Finkenauer welcomed the endorsement because of NARAL’s advocacy for women’s rights “and I’m glad to have them on my side.”

She believes the endorsement will make a difference in the four-way race for the nomination to be the Democratic challenger to GOP Rep. Rod Blum, also of Dubuque.

“When a national organization on the front lines of the battle to protect women’s right to choose comes in and vouches for me, that means something,” Finkenauer said.

In addition to Finkenauer, three others — George Ramsey III of Marion, Thomas Heckroth of Cedar Falls and Courtney Rowe of Cedar Rapids — are seeking the nomination. Sen. Jeff Danielson of Waterloo is considering the race.

In endorsing Finkenauer, NARAL described the 28-year-old as a champion for women in the Iowa Statehouse, fighting against a ban that would prohibit a woman from getting an abortion after the 20th weeks of pregnancy and efforts to defund Planned Parenthood.

Finkenauer said she wants to continue that fight in Washington.

“I will continue to do what I did in the Statehouse,” she said. “I’m not just a vote, but a voice” on reproductive rights as well as other issues facing working Iowans in the 20-county northeast Iowa District that includes Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls-Waterloo, Dubuque and Marshalltown.

The primary election to determine the nominee will be in June 5, 2018. If none of the candidates receives more than 35 percent of the vote, Democrats will nominate a candidate at a convention.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

For all of The Gazette's Election 2016 coverage, please visit our election coverage center.

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