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by Sharon Rondeau

Born in 1970, Joni Ernst grew up in Iowa and is a Lt. Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard

(Nov. 4, 2014) — In a Politico story published on Monday and updated on Tuesday, retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) is reported to have compared Republican hopeful Joni Ernst to country music singer Taylor Swift.

In the statement quoted by Politico, Harkin also referred to Ernst as “Senator,” although the election returns are far from complete as of this writing at 10:00 a.m. EST.

Ernst is a farmer, Iowa Army National Guardsman, and Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran who states on her website that “I believe government has become too big, too expensive, and too involved in our lives. I believe the free enterprise economy is the greatest job creation machine ever imagined, but only if government gets out of the way. That means low taxes, an end to job-killing regulations, and a small, but efficient government.”  She served as a state senator and Montgomery County Auditor.

Her opponent, Rep. Bruce Braley, is an attorney who has represented Iowa’s First Congressional District since 2007.

Over the weekend, Ernst was reported to have vaulted to a seven-point lead over Braley, while other polls show the two statistically tied.

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