Women Win: Patty Judge, Candidate for the United States Senate

For the first time in Iowa’s history, two women — Hillary Rodham Clinton and Patty Judge — will occupy the top of the Democratic ticket this November. And in many districts across the Hawkeye State, Iowans will have the opportunity to vote for women Democratic candidates for several offices at the top of the ticket. That’s why we’re launching Women Win, a campaign to help empower women across the state to talk about the historic nature of this election — and to recognize the amazing women of Iowa’s past, present, and future. Keep your eyes on our Twitter, Facebook, and Medium to learn their stories, then join in on our efforts.

Patty Judge, former Lieutenant Governor of Iowa and current candidate for U.S. Senate

“My political activism really began with the farm crisis in the 1980s. I traveled all over the southern third of the state, from one side to the other, mediating between creditors and farmers to keep people on their farm.

Throughout that experience, in the late eighties, I came to the conclusion that our government, both state and national, was not listening. I decided, with a little encouragement from friends, neighbors, and family, to make a run for the state Senate to stand up for rural Iowa.

Women in politics were not common. I was the first woman from my part of the state to be elected to the state Senate. I can remember traveling, and having people question whether I should be out on the road by myself at night. One stranger even insisted I buy a gun to protect myself.

There is no doubt that the presence of women in the Iowa legislature has changed the discussion for the better. Many women have great concerns about healthcare, about education, about programs to protect children. Those things sometimes got relegated to the back burner, but our presence helped to elevate those critical issues.

I have three granddaughters and one grandson ranging in age from 8 months to 17 years, and the reason I’m in this race is for them. It’s because we have to make sure this country is the kind of place that nurtures them and allows them to reach their full potential. We’ve come a long way, but that ultimate glass ceiling is still there. When Hillary is elected president, that will say to every girl, to everybody in this country and around the world, that a woman can do anything she wants.

The mere fact that I am in this race against Chuck Grassley sends a good message to women across Iowa. I’m a rural woman, I’m a farmer, and my candidacy shows that there is a place for women in government from all corners of our state and all avenues, all professions.

When Hillary Clinton and I are elected, it will announce that we’re tired of business as usual. We’re tired of gridlock, we’re tired of obstruction. We know what we want to do. We want to improve the economy. We want to make certain that everyone has access to an absolutely top-notch education all the way from preschool through college. We want to make sure that healthcare’s there and that it’s affordable and that it’s accessible to every person in this country.

I have full confidence that Hillary’s going to work tirelessly to make our government and economy work for everyone. However, without a Democrat-led U.S. Senate, Republicans will block every single policy priority, just as they have for Barack Obama. I’m going to the Senate to fight for her, to fight for family farmers, and to fight for working families in Iowa.”

Patty Judge is the former Secretary of Agriculture and Lieutenant Governor of Iowa. She is currently running against Chuck Grassley for the United States Senate.