We continue our Meet the Freshmen profiles this week with Iowa’s next Republican Senator, Joni Ernst
Joni Ernst will go to the Senate in January as the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, the first Republican female combat veteran to serve in the Senate, and possibly the only candidate in recent political history to ever advertise as a hog castrator. Either way, this Conservative, pro-Iowan will find herself fighting a new battle, this time in Washington, D.C.
Joni Ernst was always considered a long shot to replace longtime Democratic Senator Tom Harkin. Many pundits and experts predicted that the feeble, weak field for the Republican nomination would hand the contest over to Congressman Bruce Braley, Harkin’s apparent heir and pro-Obamacare fanatic. However, Joni Ernst took the challenge, and she did it with force.
After clearing the way for a primary victory, polls indicated that Ernst was running neck and neck with one of Washington’s most seasoned career politicians. However, the 2014 environment, and Braley’s lock-step voting record with Obama, proved to be enough to resoundingly throw Ernst into the driver’s seat. Leading up to the election, Ernst was blitzing the State, and on Election Night, it was Ernst’s name that popped up on national news as the winner of one of the country’s premier Senate contest.
Who is Joni Ernst?
She is a political unknown in Washington, but Iowa knows her as a mother, soldier and Conservative fighter who is unwavering in her morals and values – many of which are in line with those of many Iowans. Ernst was born in Red Oak, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and Columbus State University before enlisting in the United States Army. She climbed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and continues to serve in the Iowa Army National Guard. During the month of July, Ernst actually took a break from the campaign trail and participated in two weeks of National Guard duty. Ernst is married to retired command sergeant major Gail Ernst, and they have a daughter, Libby.
Ernst is smart, sharp and ready to take on Washington. If anyone knows how to fight the battle, it is Ernst. By adding Ernst to the Senate, common sense might quite possibly become a norm.
Writers Note: OUTSET Magazine conducted a Senate profile of the Hawkeye State’s Senate election in a prior article. This article is profiling the victor of that contest, Joni Ernst.