CEDAR RAPIDS — She’s hard-pressed to think of what it might be, but Patty Judge thinks that given her training and experience as a mediator during the farm crisis, she could find common ground with Donald Trump.
“Yes, I think that I could have a discussion with him about an issue and I would be willing to listen to his side and would hope that we could reach some kind of consensus,” Judge, a Democrat contesting GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley’s re-election, said Thursday.
“It’s not possible all of the time, but you have to try,” Judge told The Gazette editorial board.
Grassley, she said, has stopped trying to find that middle ground that voters want — and expect — from their representatives in Congress. Exhibit 1 is his refusal to hold hearings on Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee.
That was the issue that pushed her into the race after she had resigned herself to never being on the ballot in the wake of her unsuccessful 2010 campaign for a second term as Chet Culver’s lieutenant governor.
Judge dismisses the notion that the issue has lost its importance since the vacancy occurred seven months ago.
“I will tell you, when I’m talking to people, if I don’t bring it up, they bring it up to me,” said Judge, who worked as a nurse and operated a cow-calf farm with her husband before serving two terms in the Iowa Senate and two terms as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture.
Iowans are known for being hardworking, reasonable and sensible, she said, “and when we commit to do a job, people expect us to do what we say we’re going to do. People believe as I do that obstruction is wrong.”
The gridlock and obstruction won’t end until some member of Congress are replaced, Judge said.
“Very few people are as much a part of the establishment as him and people believe this is the time for a change,” she said about Grassley, who has been in Congress 42 years.
Judge could make a difference because of her experience working across the aisle in the Legislature and mediating disputes between farmers and lenders during the 1980s farm crisis, Judge said.”
“I think it is possible to meet people in the middle, to have a discussion even though you may not agree on solutions, and find some common ground and get to consensus,” she said.