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Navy veteran enters U.S. Senate race

By Staff | Mar 11, 2020

Mike Franken is a candidate for U.S. Senate, running against four other candidates in the Democratic primary. Franken had lunch at the VFW with about a half dozen citizens Tuesday and touched on a number of issues important to local constituents.

Franken is a physicist and engineer who worked in various positions in the military overseas and in Washington, DC. He requested retirement in 2016, saying, “I didn’t care to work for this president.”

Franken said he has a three-pronged platform: 1) Climate change: “Iowa is in a catbird seat for climate change. Agriculture is our strength,” Franken said; 2) Healthcare: “I’ve been in the military 40 years and enjoyed federal government health care. This level of healthcare from cradle to grave should be the right of all citizens,” Franken said. 3) Inequity: “I spent a lot of years in Washington, DC in policy science. I know how to do logic trees and ifthen scenarios. Inequity comes from greed and costs society at large. Not all rungs of the ladder are there for everyone. It’s something we root out little by little.”

Franken lives with his family in Sioux City and grew up on a farm in western Sioux County, the youngest of nine children.

“I’m a different candidate. I’m not monocular,” Franken said.

Trust is another pillar of Franken’s vision. “Trust, once lost, is difficult to re-earn,” Franken said.

He said he entered the race because he “saw Senator Ernst not doing what’s best for Iowans across the aisle.

“We’re divided. We’ve got to mend ourselves,” Franken said.

Franken entered the U.S. Senate race relatively late: Aug. 28, 2019. He said he has been traveling the state talking to as many citizens as he can. One exercise he said he does is getting a haircut every two weeks by walking in to a local establishment. He then asks the people in the salon if he can ask them questions while he is there. He asks everything from whether they have health insurance to whether they have student loans, and what they feel are barriers to their pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.