Iowa's Ernst wins primary by emphasizing her life

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Associated Press

Posted on June 5, 2014 at 2:06 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 2:06 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Joni Ernst, a mother from farm country and Iraq war veteran who was little known only months ago, surprisingly won Iowa's Republican Senate primary going away and now appears well positioned to compete for a seat that could help determine whether the GOP wins control of Congress.

The 43-year-old state lawmaker projected a just-folks personality, backed by a blitz of clever TV advertising, to sweep the five-candidate GOP race and become one of the unexpected stars of the primary season.

Now she faces a tougher test against a four-term Democratic congressman, Bruce Braley, who has more than $2.3 million in the bank, compared to her $100,000, and a slight edge in the polls. The winner will succeed Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who is retiring after five terms.

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