Pete D’Alessandro

Pete D’Alessandro in the 3rd District Democratic Primary

Our interaction with Iowa 3rd Congressional District Democratic candidate Pete D’Alessandro stretches back into the 1990s.

Pete is that rarest of political breeds: he does what he says he will. He’s earned our trust.

In that respect, and many others, Pete D’Alessandro hews to the legacy and leadership of one of his chief mentors, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has endorsed Pete, Sanders’ campaign director in Iowa during the 2016 cycle. As much as anyone, Pete is responsible for Sanders meteoric rise from 56 points down in the polls to great success in the caucuses.

Today, we add our endorsement of Pete D’Alessandro in Iowa’s 3rd District Democratic Primary June 5.

Pete D’Alessandro’s deep reach into Iowa politics, his understanding of the complicated crossroads of state issues (he was political director for Gov. Chet Culver and worked to get Gov. Tom Vilsack elected) and national matters (Pete worked for the presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt as well) will be of enormous value as a public servant with the skills to turn ideas into action.

“Look at what happens when you send a novice there,” D’Alessandro said in a recent interview in reference to President Donald Trump.

With more than two decades of experience in Iowa and national campaigns, Pete D’Alessandro is positioned to bring the best and brightest young Democrats into in his office to work for us. We have no doubt his office will be among the more hard-driving and competent on Capitol Hill — features that are needed as Congress will be increasingly relied on to check the excesses and antics of Trump.

“I’m still an outsider who understands how the insider works,” D’Alessandro said.

The reason Democrats haven’t done well in rural areas of Iowa isn’t because there is a conservative streak here, D’Alessandro said.

“Democrats have been afraid to talk about values,” he said.

Chief among those for Pete D’Alessandro is Medicare for all. Too often, would-be entrepreneurs are trapped in their current jobs because they are tethered to health insurance, the candidate says. Pete D’Alessandro believes making health care a right will unleash a new era of productivity.

To be clear, this endorsement only extends only to the primary. We have great respect for U.S. Rep. David Young, the Republican currently holding the 3rd District seat. He is bright and capable and accessible.

We think the 3rd District — what Congressman Young affectionately calls the Sweet 16 (the number of counties in it) — is best served by what we suspect would be policy-minded general-election race between two of the smarter politicians we’ve covered.

Democrats who want a fighter with how-government-works chops and a rich vein of grassroots political experience — or Democrats who wish they could time machine back to 2016 and send Sanders into the fray against Trump — have their candidate in Pete D’Alessandro.

 

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