DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new item on Lt. Col. Joni Ernst's checklist as she packed up for annual training with the Iowa National Guard: denounce the health care law in the weekly Republican radio address.
The Iowa state senator is running for the U.S. Senate but is leaving the campaign just as her bid against Democratic congressman Bruce Braley is heating up. Ernst won a five-way Republican primary last month and immediately joined Braley in a fierce back-and-forth over who should take the place of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
Then duty called. Just hours after she taped the Republicans' national address Thursday night, Ernst drove from her rural southwest Iowa home to join her unit. She is leading a convoy of trucks to Wisconsin for two weeks of drilling at Fort McCoy.