Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democratic candidate for one of Iowa’s United States Senate seats, held a meeting in Knoxville on Monday.
Braley is the only Democrat to have entered the race thus far. He is seeking to succeed fellow Democrat Tom Harkin following the 2014 general election. Harkin announced earlier this year that he would not seek reelection.
In an interview with the Journal-Express, Braley said he and Harkin share a lot of similarities, but the two differ on some issues. He said, like Harkin, he believes in the importance of providing the “ladder” to help others succeed in life, and he also cherishes his small-town background.
Braley grew up in Brooklyn, the son of a World War II veteran who was injured in a grain elevator accident. Growing up with Braley in Brooklyn was Knoxville’s own West Elementary Principal Mike Montgomery. Montgomery said he believes his old friend would make a good Senator. Braley’s brother also used to work in Knoxville at the VA Medical Center.
Braley earned a degree at Iowa State University before attending law school at the University of Iowa. He then went into practice in Waterloo, before choosing to run for the US House of Representatives in 2006. He has served in Congress since then.
As the son of a man unable to work due to injury, Braley believes it is important for the government to provide a safety net for families while they try to find a better life. When asked about creating too much dependency on government, he said that is always a concern. He believes today’s high numbers of unemployed and those on government programs are due to economic circumstances. Much like recovery from the Great Depression took several years, Braley believes recovery from the 2008 economic collapse will continue to take time.