Some voters might discredit her due to her age, but at 25, Abby Finkenauer already has amassed nearly a decade's worth of political experience.
Growing up in Dubuque, Finkenauer developed an interest in politics at an early age, serving as a page in the U.S. House for then-Rep. Jim Nussle, a northeast Iowa Republican, when she was 16.
She graduated early from Hempstead High School and went on to work as a page for Pat Murphy, the Democrat she hopes to succeed, when he was speaker of the Iowa House.
She went on to work as the state volunteer coordinator for Vice President Joe Biden's presidential campaign in 2007 and later graduated from Drake University.
The last few years, Finkenauer was a legislative aide for State Rep. Todd Taylor and, later, a communications specialist for Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque.
"My experiences working in government and in the Dubuque community while growing up in a union household uniquely qualify me to hit the ground running on Day One and be an effective voice across generational lines," she said. "My years of experience working in the Iowa House in both the majority and the minority have given me firsthand knowledge of how to be effective and make changes that are vital to Iowans regardless of political control. My experience working in the Dubuque community for the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque has taught me that collaboration is key to making an impact, and I will carry that with me back to the Iowa House."
Finkenauer is running against Republican and Dubuque attorney Daniel Dlouhy for the Iowa House District 99 seat being vacated by Murphy in a bid for the U.S. House of Representatives.
If elected to the seat, Finkenauer said she aims to:
* Raise Iowa's minimum wage and make sure women earn equal pay for equal work. A raise in the minimum wage would help 300,000 Iowa families, she said.
* Expand access to preschool; freeze tuition at Iowa's regent universities; expand tuition grants, allowing students to graduate with less debt; and set state K-12 education funding levels at the national average.
"Iowa's economy is expanding, and our state budget is projected to grow on top of our already healthy surplus," she said. "Any spending should be directed towards our educational priorities. At the same time, I plan on working to find efficiencies within our state budget."
* Target tax incentives at small businesses and entrepreneurs, so they can grow and create good-paying jobs.
"My goal is to strengthen the working family, be an advocate for women and children and focus on sustainable policies that will safeguard our community and our state's economic and environmental conditions for future generations," Finkenauer said.