Real estate executive Theresa Greenfield announced on Monday that she is joining the race for the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Senator Joni Ernst in 2020. Greenfield stressed her “farm kid values” in her campaign launch video, which features high production values — including dramatic reenactments from her life as a farm kid in rural Minnesota — and is, so far, the only 2020 campaign video to use the word “castrate.”
The word references Joni Ernst’s famous 2014 “Make ‘em squeal” campaign commercial, which is sampled in Greenfield’s video.
“Listen, folks, she didn’t castrate anyone,” Greenfield says about Ernst, while standing next to a hog pen. “She cast her vote to let the corporate lobbyists keep feasting, like hogs at the trough. You want to really ‘make ‘em squeal’? Ban corporate PAC money, take away their loopholes and special tax breaks.”
Most of the nearly three-minute video, titled “Worth Fighting For,” focuses on Greenfield’s personal story.
“I’m a proud farm kid, with farm kid values,” Greenfield says. “I worked my way through community college, became a community planner and today, I’m the president of a small business.”
Greenfield tied her life story to larger political issues in the video. She recounts being a young mother when her first husband died in an electrical accident while working for the Interstate Power Company in Minnesota. At the time, she had a 13-month-old boy, and was pregnant with her second son.
“One of the things that saved our family was Social Security,” Greenfield said. “So when I see Mitch McConnell, Joni Ernst and the folks in Washington talking about cutting Medicare and Social Security to pay for tax breaks for billionaires, I say, ‘No way.’”
On her campaign site, Greenfield cites a range of priorities “from investing in education, to making it easier for small businesses to thrive, to cutting healthcare costs.”
This is the second bid for national office in two years for Greenfield, who is president of Colby Interests, a real estate firm in Windsor Heights. Like Eddie Mauro, another 2020 Democrat running for U.S. Senate, Greenfield ran in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in 2018 for the seat Democrat Cindy Axne eventually won.
Greenfield’s primary bid last year was derailed when she discovered, just a few days before the deadline for candidates to submit petitions to appear on ballot, that her campaign manager, Noah Wasserman, had forged signatures on the petition she had submitted. Greenfield fired Wasserman and withdrew the petition. She was unable to collect enough signatures on a new petition before the deadline.
The 3rd District Democratic Central Committee voted to give Greenfield a spot on the primary ballot, despite her failure to turn in a completed petition, but the Iowa Attorney General ruled that the committee lacked the authority to do that, so Greenfield was removed from the ballot.
In April, Wasserman was arrested, and charged with one felony and 13 aggravated misdemeanors related to his forgeries.