Michael Franken

Michael Franken speaking to attendants last Monday evening at the Pizza Ranch in Sheldon. 

Michael Franken, a Democrat hoping to challenge U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), made a stop Sheldon Pizza Ranch on Monday.

His platform is designed to address climate change, fix health care and do something about unfair economics in the country at this time.

A retired admiral in the U.S. Navy, Franken was born in Sioux City and grow up in Sioux Center.

His decision to come back to northwest Iowa came after Donald Trump’s election to president in 2016 election.

“When the Trump administration came to be, I was in Europe with my family, and I decided that a person of my seniority doesn’t have a lot of jobs to go to in Washington, D.C., that don’t interact with this administration,” Franken said.

“I was fearful of where this administration was going to go,”

Franken said he had some hope early in Trump’s presidency that he and his administration would do some good things for the country. But after the 2018 midterms, he no longer had that positive feeling.

“After the 2018 election, it became very clear to me that President Trump could very well win re-election and we best do something about controlling the Senate,” Franken said.

Franken’s stance on immigration, an issue addressed Monday in Sheldon, is that those who are on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals should be able to become U.S. citizens as long as they have a wholesome record.

“DACAs should easily become U.S. citizens if they have a clean record,” Franken said. “Those that are here illegally, we got to develop a path to legal immigration, documented, so that everyone can be a contributing member of society.”

Franken also said the Affordable Care Act is the way to go down the road for health care in the United States.

“We made a mistake in not marching adroitly to full implementation of the Affordable Care Act and fix it as we go,” Franken said. “When you write legislation, you should always write an open door on it. The last thing you want to do is kill it and have nothing remaining. The Affordable Care Act was generally a path that was paid for and it would have gotten cheaper as more and more of it was implemented.”

Franken is not alone in seeking to be the Democrat who challenges Ernst in the fall. His June 3 primary opponents include Kimberly Graham of Indianola, Theresa Greenfield of Des Moines, Eddie Mauro of Des Moines and Cal Woods of Des Moines.

Despite the deep field, Franken thinks he has the best chance to defeat Ernst.

“To beat her, you need to negate the things that got her elected and then you need to lay down her voting record and pick it apart,” he said. “I came back here specifically to beat Joni Ernst.”