You might not have heard of her before, but Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer became the highest-ranking Iowa Democrat to formally endorse a 2020 presidential candidate when she threw her support to Joe Biden on Thursday morning.
Finkenauer, a first-term member of Congress who represents rural northeastern Iowa, defeated a Republican incumbent 51 percent to 46 percent in 2018. She tells the Associated Press that “there are days where I swear Democrats and Republicans are speaking different languages” and Biden could serve as a “translator.” At age 31, Finkenauer is the second-youngest woman currently serving in the House (30-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest). Iowa’s two other Democratic members of Congress have not endorsed a 2020 presidential candidate.
Finkenauer has been a longtime fan of Biden — she volunteered for his last presidential campaign when she was a student in 2007 — but her decision to back Biden over Buttigieg or Klobuchar, the other “moderates” in the race, is a sign that Biden is very much in the hunt in Iowa. With one month until the caucuses, polling averages of Iowa show Buttigieg, Biden, and Sanders in a dead heat, with Elizabeth Warren a few points behind.
The Biden campaign noted, in an email touting Finkenauer’s endorsement, that she and Nevada congresswoman Dina Titus, who also backs Biden, are the “only two Members of Congress from the four early states to publicly announce their support in the race for the Democratic nomination.”
Over the next few days, the AP reports, Finkenauer will campaign with Biden in at least eight cities and towns in Iowa.