Democrats Pin Hopes On Social Security In Iowa Senate Race

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Theresa Greenfield is the odds-on front-runner in the Iowa Democratic primary, which will decide who takes on Sen. Joni Ernst in November. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images)
Theresa Greenfield is the odds-on front-runner in the Iowa Democratic primary, which will decide who takes on Sen. Joni Ernst in November. (Photo: Caroline Brehman/Getty Images)

Theresa Greenfield, 56, grew up on a farm that went under during the 1980s farm crisis, lost her first husband in an industrial accident and later ran a family-owned real estate firm in Des Moines.

Greenfield’s story is one that Democratic strategists normally only dream about. But when the front-runner for Iowa’s Democratic Senate nomination tells her tale of rural roots, perseverance and business savvy, she is also keen to emphasize the social solidarity that made it all possible.

Greenfield reminds voters that when husband Rodney Wirtjes, an electrical lineman, was electrocuted in June 1988, his union ― the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ― was there for her. The union’s health care benefits ensured that she and their kids were covered,

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