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DES MOINES, Iowa – Eddie Mauro is the second candidate so far to announce he will seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa. He stated during his announcement speech Monday in Carroll that Ernst’s military record is a disadvantage due to its chain of command suggesting that it makes her incapable of being an independent voice.

Ernst retired from the Iowa Army National Guard at the rank of lieutenant colonel after 23-years of service. She is the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate.

Mauro, who currently sells insurance in Des Moines, ran for Congress unsuccessfully in 2018 in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District losing the Democratic primary to Cindy Axne who defeated incumbent Congressman David Young.

“We have a Senator right now, she knows who she is, Joni Ernst.  Joni Ernst served our country in the National Guard, I applaud her for that, I respect that, we should all respect that,” Mauro said. “I would argue, though, that this kind of service is a little bit different. In military service, you kind of fall in line, they tell you what to do and you do what they tell you to do, that’s what it’s supposed to be about. In public service I think there are times you need to step out of line to say, I’m sorry Mr. Trump, you’re wrong. I’m sorry Mr. Trump you’re wrong. I’m sorry Koch brothers you’re wrong. And I want to do something in the best interest of Iowa.”

Watch below:

Mauro when asked to clarify his comments by a Carroll Times Herald reporter said, “When you serve in the military, you’re in line, you fall in line, people tell you what to do, you say, ‘Yes sir, no sir, yes ma’am, no ma’am,’ and you continue to do that.”

“It is shameful that Iowa Democrats think laying down one’s life for their country isn’t the kind of courage it takes to serve in Congress,” said Jeff Kaufmann, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, said in a released statement in response. “As the first female combat veteran to serve in the U.S. Senate, Ernst knows how to lead soldiers and stand up for Iowa values in Congress. We need more people with this kind of leadership experience in the Senate.”

Correction: The article originally indicated that Mauro is the only Democratic candidate in the race at this time, but Caffeinated Thoughts learned that attorney Kimberly Graham has also announced.

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