Meet the Freshmen: Joni Ernst

We continue our Meet the Freshmen profiles this week with Iowa’s next Republican Senator, Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst will go to the Senate in January as the first woman to represent Iowa in Congress, the first Republican female combat veteran to serve in the Senate, and possibly the only candidate in recent political history to ever advertise as a hog castrator. Either way, this Conservative, pro-Iowan will find herself fighting a new battle, this time in Washington, D.C.

Joni Ernst was always considered a long shot to replace longtime Democratic Senator Tom Harkin. Many pundits and experts predicted that the feeble, weak field for the Republican nomination would hand the contest over to Congressman Bruce Braley, Harkin’s apparent heir and pro-Obamacare fanatic. However, Joni Ernst took the challenge, and she did it with force.

After clearing the way for a primary victory, polls indicated that Ernst was running neck and neck with one of Washington’s most seasoned career politicians. However, the 2014 environment, and Braley’s lock-step voting record with Obama, proved to be enough to resoundingly throw Ernst into the driver’s seat. Leading up to the election, Ernst was blitzing the State, and on Election Night, it was Ernst’s name that popped up on national news as the winner of one of the country’s premier Senate contest.

Who is Joni Ernst?

She is a political unknown in Washington, but Iowa knows her as a mother, soldier and Conservative fighter who is unwavering in her morals and values – many of which are in line with those of many Iowans. Ernst was born in Red Oak, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and Columbus State University before enlisting in the United States Army. She climbed to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and continues to serve in the Iowa Army National Guard. During the month of July, Ernst actually took a break from the campaign trail and participated in two weeks of National Guard duty. Ernst is married to retired command sergeant major Gail Ernst, and they have a daughter, Libby.

Ernst is smart, sharp and ready to take on Washington. If anyone knows how to fight the battle, it is Ernst. By adding Ernst to the Senate, common sense might quite possibly become a norm.

Writers Note: OUTSET Magazine conducted a Senate profile of the Hawkeye State’s Senate election in a prior article. This article is profiling the victor of that contest, Joni Ernst.

About Blake Humphrey

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Born in Orlando, Florida, Blake and his family moved to Wheeling, West Virginia in 1997. Since then, Blake has become involved politically in the Mountain State. In 2010, he helped Erikka Storch win a seat in the West Virginia House of Delegates. From 2011 to 2013, Blake interned for Congressman David B. McKinley. In 2012, Blake managed two campaigns (Patty Levenson for Ohio County Commissioner and Bob Miller for Marshall County Commissioner). In May of 2014, Blake graduated from Wheeling Park High School. He served as Senior Class President, Student Council Vice President, and as the Student Representative to the West Virginia Board of Education and the Ohio County Board of Education. Blake currently resides in Morgantown, West Virginia where he is attending West Virginia University. Currently, Blake serves as a Member of the West Virginia University Student Government Association Board of Governors. As a Member of the Board, he is currently working on college and textbook affordability issues. Blake is majoring in Political Science and Economics. In his free time, Blake enjoys traveling, hiking, fine coffee and reading.