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First district candidates sound off

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First district candidates sound off

On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to elect a representative for Iowa's first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to elect a representative for Iowa's first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

JOEL WAUTERS

On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to elect a representative for Iowa's first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

JOEL WAUTERS

JOEL WAUTERS

On Nov. 6, voters will head to the polls to elect a representative for Iowa's first congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

TONI FORTMANN, Staff Writer

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The competition continues between representative Rod Blum (R) and Abby Finkenauer (D), as the Iowa midterm election soon approaches.

Blum, 63, is a Republican running for a third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Iowa’s first district, after winning the midterm elections in 2014 and 2016. Blum is an Iowa native, residing in his hometown of Dubuque, Iowa, with his wife Karen and their five children.

Finkenauer, 29, is a Democrat currently running for her first term in Congress. She has previously served as the State Representative for the 99th district of Iowa since 2015. Finkenauer is an Iowa native from Sherrill, Iowa.

Both Blum and Finkenauer were born and raised in eastern Iowa, with hometowns just fifteen minutes apart.

Health Care

Blum favors the full repealing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Finkenauer favors the Affordable Care Act and wants to fight for achieving universal health care coverage and lowering the cost of health care across the board.

Environment

Blum opposes federal regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and is skeptical when it comes to humans’ impact on climate change.

Finkenauer said she will support clean energy jobs and common sense air and water policies. She said she will work to preserve Iowa’s climate for farming communities

Abortion

Blum opposes abortion and has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. He also supported the anti-abortion organization known as the Center for Medical Progress in the investigation of Planned Parenthood for allegedly selling fetal tissue.

Finkenauer believes a woman’s health is an issue considered by herself, her doctor, and her family. She believes in a woman’s right to choose and the right to have access to birth control.

Immigration

Blum supported President Donald Trump’s first 2017 executive order, which temporarily curtailed immigration from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen until better screening methods are devised. Blum had stated that “… The bottom line is they can’t properly vet people coming from war-torn areas like Syria and Iraq. If we can’t vet people properly, then we shouldn’t be allowing them into our country. I’m supportive of that.”

Finkenauer believes that our current immigration system is broken and is failing our country, our state, and the people of eastern Iowa. On her website, she states that, if elected, she will work for bipartisan immigration reform.

As voting opens Nov. 6, students gathered their thoughts on who they’re siding with.

“I don’t identify with either political party that’s why I registered as an Independent, but I look at what each candidate thinks as opposed to what political party they run for,” said Helen Beier, psychology major. “So, I vote for the candidate I agree with the most.”

For sophomore finance major Nicholas Schindler, that’s Rod Blum.

“I support Rod Blum over Abby Finkenauer because he is fighting for our tax cuts, he fought to repeal Obamacare and he’s fighting for the unborn,” Schindler said.

Wilson McNaughton, a freshman chemistry major, emphasized the importance of voting.

“If you don’t vote, you’re basically as good as what you criticize,” McNaughton said. “There’s no point in not voting.”

Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on election day.

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First district candidates sound off