Endorsement PanelPictured (l-r): Rudy Simms, Rocio Hermosillo and Kevin McLaughlin

On Friday, May 20th, our endorsement panel convened and began hours of interview with the Democrats seeking to face U.S. Senator Charles Grassley in the general election.

The format was simple. Each candidate was interviewed for 45 minutes by our panel with an opportunity to make opening and closing statements (interviews can be heard at: CitizenVanguard.com). Our panel also studied each candidate’s answers to our extensive questionnaire (see their answers and essays in our special section).

Tom Fiegen did not make his scheduled interview and was disqualified from endorsement consideration. He was interviewed the following day and both his interview and questionnaire are available to voters.

Once the interviews concluded very strong arguments were made for each of the candidates interviewed. In the end on a 3-1 split decision our panel endorsed Sen. Rob Hogg as the best candidate to face Sen. Grassley in November.

Hogg has put together a vibrant campaign and has the best chance to appeal to those voters that have made the difference between Democrats like Pres. Obama winning and Democrats like Hon. Bruce Braley losing.

Hogg has been an outstanding public servant and offers Democrats the best chance to unseat the longtime incumbent.

Iowa Bystander Endorsement Panel

The Chair of our Endorsement panel is Dick Murphy, former Des Moines School Board President. Dick is a retired educator and has served on numerous local and regional boards and commissions.

Our second panelist is Kevin McLaughlin, former Chair of the Polk County Republican Party. Kevin is Vice President of BDF Investments and resides in Des Moines.

Our third panelist  is Rudy Simms, former Executive Director of the Des Moines Human Rights Commission. Rudy has served on numerous boards and commissions and is an inductee in the Iowa African American Hall of Fame.

Our final panelist is Rocio Hermosillo, Assistant Director of Multicultural Recruitment with Simpson College. Rocio also serves on the Board of Directors of the Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines and several other boards and commissions.