I believe that as a mother, a soldier, and a leader, the values I hold dear, and have fought more than 20 years to protect, are being threatened. Threatened by the failed policies of this president, and by typical politicians in Washington who care more about reelection than doing what’s right.
Washington politicians have failed us. They have abandoned the principles that have made our nation great, and ignored the Constitution. It’s going to take real leadership to protect the values we hold dear, and reverse the damage that’s been done.
I was born and raised in Montgomery County. I grew up walking beans and feeding hogs. My mom made all of my clothes. We went to church every week, helped our neighbors when they needed it, and they did the same for us. These were the values I was raised with, and they’re the same values I have fought my entire life to promote and protect.
We didn’t have much money, so I was fortunate to be able to attend college at Iowa State University with the help of academic and leadership scholarships, and earned tuition money by working construction jobs with my dad during the summer months. I met my husband Gail while in Ames. After Gail retired as a Command Sergeant Major and Army Ranger, it came time for us to settle down, and raise our own family, we knew there was only one place to go: Back home to Iowa. Today I teach Sunday school in the same church I was baptized and married in. I live in the very house where one of my best friends grew up. And when I mow our lawn, I look out at the same sidewalks and yards where we used to play.
As a mother, and grandmother, I want to ensure that my children and grandchildren inherit the same great nation, and values, that we inherited. And I think the failed policies of this president threaten that. Whether it’s policies like ObamaCare, cap and trade or high taxes, the direction this president is taking our country is frightening enough for people of my generation. But it terrifies me to think about the America our children and grandchildren will inherit if we don’t do something to change course.
I believe government has become too big, too expensive, and too involved in our lives. I believe the free enterprise economy is the greatest job creation machine ever imagined, but only if government gets out of the way. That means low taxes, an end to job-killing regulations, and a small, but efficient government.
As a soldier, a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard, I understand the importance of a strong national defense – both at home and abroad. I have recently commanded the largest battalion in Iowa, made up of more than 1,200 of the finest men and women to ever put on our nation’s uniform. In 2003 I was honored to serve as a company commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom where my unit was tasked with running convoys through Kuwait and into southern Iraq. Our servicemen and women have fought hard for us, putting the interests of their nation and fellow soldiers ahead of their own safety and security, and we must fight equally as hard for them, and their families, when they return home.
In the senate, I will fight to protect, and promote, the traditional values and principles I was taught growing up in Southwest Iowa.
As Montgomery County Auditor, I worked to eliminate waste, save taxpayers money, and hold government accountable. As state senator, I have fought to improve education, limit government, cut taxes, and grow jobs. In fact, this past year, I helped pass the largest tax cut in the history of our state – returning over $4.4 billion in property tax relief to Iowa taxpayers over the next decade. I am proud that during my tenure in the legislature, Iowa’s unemployment rate has dropped from over 6% down to 4.4% – now seventh-lowest in the nation – meaning that we have added over 130,000 new jobs for our friends, family and neighbors since January 2011.
Holding to my commitment to fiscal responsibility, we have gone from a $900 million budget deficit, turning it around into a budget surplus of $1 billion dollars. This was achieved by limiting the size and scope of state government, reining in spending habits, and eliminating the practice of taking on more debt for ongoing projects.
These are Iowa values that I not only believe in – they are values I have defended for over 20 years. I’m a proud Iowan who put on the uniform to protect our Constitution and what it stands for. These are the things that made America the greatest nation in the history of mankind, and they are worth fighting for. And you can trust that as the next U.S. Senator from Iowa, I will continue that fight for these Iowa values every single day.
2014 Election Results
On November 4, 2014, Joni Ernst was elected with 52% of the ballot share to represent Iowans in the United States Senate. She won with an 8.5% margin, won 75 of Iowa’s 99 counties, and all four of Iowa’s congressional districts – including her opponent’s home congressional district. Senator-elect Ernst is the first woman elected to serve in federal office from the state of Iowa, and will be the first female combat veteran to serve in the United States Senate.