Patty Judge ducks some Dem senate debates

Democratic Senate Debates

STAR-PAC, First Christian Church, Des Moines — Sunday, May 15 at 4-6 p.m.
Rogalski Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport — Monday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, Waterloo — Sat., May 28 at 12 p.m.
Iowa Public Television — Wed., June 1 at 7 p.m.

Bob Krause -- photo by
Bob Krause — photo by

For the first time in years, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley is facing formidable opposition as he seeks his seventh term as a U.S. Senator. He has no primary challenger but the Democratic field has four in the running. Vying for the Democratic slot in the race are State Sen. Rob Hogg (Cedar Rapids), former Lt. Gov. Patty Judge (Albia), Tom Fiegen (Clarence) and Bob Krause (Fairfield).

Candidate Judge has been staying busy but not by attending the forums. The presumed front-runner has skipped several already and likely won’t attend many of the remaining ones.

All the Democratic candidates were invited to meet on Sunday, May 15, in Des Moines, at a debate hosted by the political action committee STAR-PAC. The event will focus on foreign policy, military and migrant issues.

On Monday, May 16, several candidates have indicated they’ll attend a debate hosted by the Quad Cities Alliance of Retired Americans (QCARA) at St. Ambrose University in Davenport. The debate is expected to be live-streamed on the internet and recorded for rebroadcast on KRUU in the Fairfield, Iowa area. Without all candidates attending, no live broadcast of the event has been scheduled.

Organizer Bob Babcock, a member of QCARA, said, “I’m hearing from voters that any candidate who refuses to participate in an open debate like this is ‘spitting in the face of democracy’ but all I know is that all of the voters deserve to get to know all the candidates.”

On June 1, Iowa Public Television will host a televised debate moderated by Dean Borg. All four candidates have agreed to appear.

A few days before that, Judge said she will skip a forum in Waterloo. A debate will be held at 12 p.m. on May 28 at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 805 Adams St., in Waterloo. Focusing on the rise of outside expenditures on campaigns from political action committees, candidates will also be asked to discuss their own relationship and history with PACs and special interest money. The debate will also include discussion on income inequality and mass incarceration.

The primary for the Democratic candidates is June 7.