Patty Judge

Former Lieutenant Governor and Iowa Senator, Patty Judge spoke to a small group gathered at the Second Street Cafe in Ottumwa on Saturday about her run for U.S. Senate against incumbent Senator Chuck Grassley. 

OTTUMWA — Former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge says it is time to pressure Sen. Chuck Grassley out of office.

“Over the years Grassley has wrapped himself in this cloak of invincibility,” said Judge. “But he has proven, especially recently, that he is not the same guy he used to be; he seems out of step.”

Having recently announced her candidacy for the United State Senate, Judge visited the Second Street Café on Saturday afternoon to talk with Ottumwans about her campaign and the important issues she wants to address. She told the small crowd she had no intention of getting back into politics, but Grassley’s recent refusal to meet with the Supreme Court nominee changed her mind.

“He believes the president should not get to name anyone to the Supreme Court because it is his last year in office,” said Judge. “That kind of defies logic because he [President Barack Obama] was elected for eight years, not seven.”

She said there is an uneven number in the Supreme Court so there would always be a majority and preventing that spot from being filled will have significant consequences. Judge pointed out that from the moment Obama was elected there was a push from the Republican senators and representatives to obstruct any actions the president tried to make. Judge believes the country is hanging in the balance at this point and wants to do her part in bringing it back.

“Think what we could do with a Congress that wanted to actually work with the next president.”

Judge made it clear that she is not just running because of Grassley’s refusal; she also wants to address the issues facing middle-class workers like the stagnant minimum wage rates and the increasing costs of higher education.

“I’ve raised kids and I have grandkids so I know on a personal level the amount of debt we are saddling on young people,” she said. “I also believe the minimum wage needs to be raised.”

Women’s rights are also on Judge’s mind going into this campaign. Having grown up on a farm in Albia, Judge she spent her life with the mentality that she could do anything and she was no different from the boys. She said that changed when she got into politics and realized how differently people looked at her because she was a woman.

“I was told before I went that the Iowa Senate is just a ‘good old boys’ club and you’ll never fit in, but you know, I never believed it,” said Judge.

She believes her years of experience and her unwillingness to back down will give her the edge needed to unseat Grassley. Judge said Iowa needs to take some progressive steps forward and she is the one who can help them make those changes.

“The last thing we need to be doing is stonewalling one another,” she said. “We need to try and work together if we are ever going to move forward.”

— To contact reporter Neal Querio, email her at nquerio@ottumwacourier.com and follow her on Twitter @CourierNeal

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