Braley thanks students for help


Richard Martinez/Iowa State Daily

U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley visited with members of the ISU Democrats on Oct. 20. Braley spoke to the audience about why connecting with Iowa State students and other universities is integral in his campaign.

Makayla Tendall

Bruce Braley, representative for Iowa’s first congressional district and Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, came to Iowa State on Oct. 20 to thank the students working to get him elected.

The majority of students who attended the event were members of ISU Democrats. Braley, who attended Iowa State for his undergraduate degree, thanked them for spending time spreading the message to other students about why they think Braley should be elected as Iowa’s next senator.

Zoe Kustritz, president of ISU Dems and junior in industrial design, said she worked almost 20 hours last week on the campaign.

Evan Abramsky, sophomore in political science and chair of public outreach, said ISU Dems recently had nearly 40 volunteers come in to work to get Braley elected, and they encouraged 700 students to vote early.

“The fact that you’re all working so hard to win the Senate race means everything to me. So I wanted to come say thank you,” Braley said.

Kustritz said she was very grateful that Braley came to campus, especially because Iowa State has the most former interns for Braley. Kustritz said she and other ISU Dems members have been jealous of Democrats in Des Moines and Iowa City because of all the high-profile Democrats who have visited.

“We have to convince students that voting in a midterm election is just as important in their lives as voting in a presidential election. It has the same impact on public policy, and it’s a six-year commitment,” Braley said.

One of the reasons Braley said students should vote for him is because of his plan for student debt. He said his plan entails refinancing student loan debt so students who were unable to receive federal student loans are able to pay their loans over a longer period of time.

“When you leave college, you have student loan debt, and you can refinance it at a better rate. You should be able to do that the way you can with a car or a home loan,” Braley said about his plan. “I’ve talked to students at Iowa State who are not able to get those loans and are paying 12 to 16 to 18 percent [in interest] in the private marketplace.”

Ally Colton, senior in animal ecology, said she supports Braley for his stance on health care. 

“For me health care is a huge issue,” Colton said. “I have a pre-existing condition and without affordable health care and Obamacare my insurance company could kick me off my plan. If I’m not on [the medicine], I could end up in the hospital. They’re expensive, but they keep me healthy.”

Colton said she began supporting Braley because of their shared Democratic values but soon came to support Braley himself.

Braley reminded ISU Dems on the importance of getting their peers to vote.

“I’m just asking you to remember the next 15 days are going to affect the next six years of peoples’ lives,” Braley said.