WATERLOO — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota joined two area Democrats on Saturday in Waterloo to encourage a blue wave on Election Day.
Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who was prominent in the Brett Kavanaugh hearing, encouraged a crowd of almost 70 people at the Waterloo Democratic Field Office in Waterloo to vote for fellow Democrat Abby Finkenauer, running for the U.S. House in the 1st District.
Klobuchar also made a pitch for Iowa’s Democratic secretary of state candidate, Deidre DeJear.
“Abby has shown leadership already in the Legislature, and it’s the kind of leadership we want to see in Washington,” Klobuchar said of Finkenauer, 29, a legislator from Dubuque.
Klobuchar noted that Iowa never has had a woman in the U.S. House of Representatives, “so this is your moment to do this.”
“As your senator next door, I thought I would come to help these incredible women,” Klobuchar said.
With a record 23 women in the U.S. Senate, Klobuchar urged the crowd to maintain the momentum.
“When you look back at history, we’ve had 2,000 men and only 52 women in the Senate,” she said.
Klobuchar tied that history to her involvement in the Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearing.
“If you noticed, I was the only woman on the Judiciary Committee,” she said, arguing for a balance of genders.
“This is a moment in time that we are not going to have again as far as I’m concerned,” Klobuchar said. “It’s a moment for Iowa and Minnesota together to stand up and say, ‘The Midwest matters, and we have values and decency in our states.’ ”
Klobuchar pressed for unity that she said is lacking under President Donald Trump.
“I sat next to John McCain, who is a dear friend of mine that I miss very much,” she said of Trump’s inauguration. When Trump began to speak, Klobuchar said McCain began reciting historic speeches of unity.
“He knew more than I think we knew, what this was going to mean and the darkness that was coming our way, and the divisiveness that was coming our way,” she said.
The crowd cheered as she said 40,000 women nationwide have signed up to run for political office since that day.
“Today, of all days, after this week we have been through, and then with this horrendous shooting at the synagogue in Pennsylvania, our prayers are with those families and those victims. This incredible divisiveness that we’ve seen in Charlottesville and then in that synagogue ... right now we stand for bringing people together.”
Finkenauer and DeJear pumped up the crowd before Klobuchar spoke.
“We are not a state or a country that grows from fear and division. We grow from hope,” Finkenauer said. “It’s about hope and the idea that your kids can get a very good education and do better than you do did.”
She said hope is “on the line and on the ballot” this election.
“I promise you today we will continue to work our tails off and beyond and make sure that Washington remembers all the folks here in Iowa and across the country that they have clearly forgotten,” she said.