Government

Iowa legislators Liz Mathis, Andy McKean endorse Amy Klobuchar for president

Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (left) speaks to the crowd of supporters as State Sen. Liz Mathis stands at her side during Klobuchar’s bus tour kick-off event at NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. McKean switched political parties from Republican to Democrat in April 2019.  (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar (left) speaks to the crowd of supporters as State Sen. Liz Mathis stands at her side during Klobuchar’s bus tour kick-off event at NewBo City Market, 1100 3rd St SE, in southeast Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. McKean switched political parties from Republican to Democrat in April 2019. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
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Democratic presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has landed the endorsement of two Eastern Iowa legislators.

State Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Hiawatha, and Rep. Andy McKean, D-Anamosa, have endorsed the U.S. senator’s bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Mathis’ endorsement is Klobuchar’s first from a sitting member of the Iowa Senate. With the addition of her endorsement and McKean’s, she now has the backing of 13 current and former members of the Legislature. That’s more than any other Democratic candidate for president, her campaign said.

“Having the support of Sen. Liz Mathis and Rep. Andy McKean is a testament to the growing enthusiasm we see across Iowa for Amy Klobuchar’s candidacy,” said Lauren Dillon, the campaign’s Iowa state director. “We’re thrilled to have their support as we kick off our ‘For All of America’ bus tour to take this campaign’s message across the Hawkeye State.”

Klobuchar will start her bus tour through several swing counties at 8:45 a.m. today at NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. McKean and Mathis will appear with her at the kickoff event.

Mathis, who has been a leader in efforts to provide collective bargaining rights, expand access to affordable health care and invest in mental health services, cited Klobuchar’s efforts “to address the needs of working families, including affordable health care and mental health services.”

McKean made national headlines in April when he left the Iowa GOP to caucus with Democrats. He was the longest-serving Republican in the history of the Iowa Legislature.

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He called Klobuchar “one of the most effective members of the U.S. Senate,” leading more than 100 bills and amendments to become law.

He is the second Iowa legislator who left the GOP to endorse Klobuchar. Former Sen. David Johnson of Ocheyedan left the party while in office, citing President Donald Trump and the Republican Party as reasons for becoming an independent.

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

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