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00000173-38e2-d855-adf7-bcef36ec0000In an effort to provide voters with information about the candidates for federal office in the 2014 general elections, Iowa Public Radio staff contacted the Democratic and Republican candidates competing in Iowa’s open congressional races and has compiled this guide. Please note that none of the candidate claims have been fact-checked. Click on the candidate’s name to see the information, or scroll through the postings below. US Senate (Replacing Senator Tom Harkin) Republican: Democrat:Joni Ernst Bruce Braley US House First Congressional District (Replacing Representative Bruce Braley) Republican: Democrat:Rod Blum Pat Murphy Second Congressional District (Incumbent: Dave Loebsack) Republican: Democrat:Dr. Marianette Miller-Meeks Dave Loebsack Third Congressional District (Replacing Representative Tom Latham) Republican: Democrat:David Young Staci Appel Fourth Congressional District (Incumbent: Steve King) Republican: Democrat:Steve King Jim Mowrer Iowa Governor (Incumbent: Terry Branstad) Republican: Democrat:Terry Branstad Jack Hatch

First Lady Corrects Gaffe, Urges Iowans to Vote Early

At a campaign rally on the University of Iowa campus, First Lady Michelle Obama joked about a gaffe she made earlier this month when she called Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley, Bruce “Bailey.” 

“Some of you may remember the last time I was here… I got it wrong a couple of times, but I sort of laughed at myself. Because I thought, well, people should follow me home.  Talk to Malia and Sasha. I never call them the right names. I call Barack “Bo,” it never works out really well.”

Obama says that while she may have gotten Braley’s name wrong during a “Get out the Vote” campaign event in Des Moines at Drake University, she was right about his values, citing his stance on the Affordable Care Act and his views on financing for higher education.

Make no mistake about it. This race is going to be tight. Races like this can be won or lost by just a few thousand, even a few hundred votes. - Michelle Obama

  The First Lady also urged Iowans, and especially students to vote early. She emphasized how close the race is between Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican State Senator Joni Ernst, comparing Iowa’s Senate Race to the 2012 Presidential Election.

Make no mistake about it. This race is going to be tight. Races like this can be won or lost by just a few thousand, even a few hundred votes. Just think about what happened in the 2012 Presidential election here in Iowa. The outcome of that race was decided by 46,000 votes. Now that may sound like a lot, but when you break it down, that’s just about 27 votes per precinct.”

Braley is running against State Senator Joni Ernst in a race that could determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.