Democratic US Senate candidate Mike Franken’s 1976 Sioux Center High School yearbook entry, obtained by Iowa Field Report, includes a quote that reads, “If I disagree with the answer, the answer must be wrong.”
The entry also details his extracurricular activities such as the Glee club, Pep Band, and some sports.
The quote reflects an attitude that Franken’s campaign would like to avoid but seem unable to shake. According to former staffers, Franken has a reputation for being condescending and challenging to work with.
Franken, who first ran for the US Senate in 2020, but lost in the primary, won his party’s nomination this year after defeating one-time congresswoman Democrat Abby Finkenauer.
Despite being just a few months into the campaign, he has already been through two campaign managers, one fired at the end of February; the other quit just at the start of July. However, Iowa Field Report discovered she later returned to her role.
Update: after we reported on her resignation @FrankenforIowa & Julie have come to an agreement — she has resumed her duties as campaign manager as of this afternoon. #iasen https://t.co/mtakVvmyln
— Iowa Field Report.com (@IAFieldReport) July 8, 2022
Additionally, Franken has made several statements seen as disparaging and arrogant.
“I got to tell you that I speak for all veterans. Categorically speaking. Not for that person. I did not serve my nation for him or her, whoever lives there. Shame on. Shame on your town for that. I was going to stop at your VFW and I said I had to keep on running,” he said, referring to a person flying an anti-Joe Biden flag in their yard.
On another occasion, Franken made this remark widely interpreted as sexist,
“”We need legislators who take responsibility and leadership,” Franken said. “I have no intention of being the junior senator from Iowa. My intention is to be the leader in the Senate for Iowa.” He said Sen. Joni Ernst, an Iowa National Guard lieutenant colonel, would agree with him and follow his lead.“”
Republican Chuck Grassley is Franken’s opponent this fall in the general election. The Cook Political Report rates the Iowa Senate race as “Solid Republican.”