3-year-old son of Jim Mowrer (Democrat challenging Steve King) has rare degenerative disease

Jim Mowrer is the only Democrat running in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, so he is the person who will run against Republican Congressman Steve King in November.  Mowrer announced his run in mid-2013.  Last week, on April 17th, Mowrer sent this email to his supporters:

Dear Friend,

First off, I just want to thank you for all the support you have shown me during this campaign. But, today I am writing for a different reason. I wanted to share with you something personal that impacts my family.

This past November, a few days before Thanksgiving, my wife Chelsey and I received some devastating news. Our three-year-old son Jack was diagnosed with a serious and rare disease called Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT). There are only 300 or so Americans who are currently afflicted with this neuro-degenerative disease.

As we have researched and worked to understand what this all means, we have come to recognize how difficult this diagnosis will be for Jack and our family. Over the next few years, Jack will lose the ability to walk, develop slurred speech, and have trouble swallowing and breathing. You would never guess it based on how active (so very active) he is today, but it will happen.

This campaign has always been a family affair, and in December, Chelsey and I had a discussion about if continuing this campaign was right for us. We realized that this is why we got in this race in the first place and the campaign must go on.

Many families face difficult circumstances that are out of their control. I learned that when I was 7 and lost my father in a farming accident. It was Social Security survivor benefits that allowed my family to stay afloat.

We will face this together and one of the opportunities presented to us as a family was to work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. This is a great group that does a lot for kids like Jack. This week, Chelsey, Carter, Jack and I are heading to Disney World. It was Jack’s wish and will provide some wonderful memories. I hope you will consider making a donation to Make a Wish Foundation – the work they do is truly humbling. If you’d like to learn more about AT, visit the A-TChildren’s Project’s home page or click here.

Thanks for your support in this campaign.


Now, today, a group founded by former Vermont Governor Howard Dean is announcing its endorsement of Mowrer.  Read the news release below:

Democracy for America endorses Mowrer in IA-4

BURLINGTON, Vt. — This morning, Democracy for America announced its endorsement of Jim Mowrer in his fight to defeat Tea Party Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 4th Congressional district.

Democracy for America, which has 9,589 members in Iowa and 1 million members nationwide, is the national progressive political organization founded by Gov. Howard Dean.

Quote from Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean on today’s endorsement of Mower:

“Jim Mowrer is running precisely the kind of people-powered, progressive campaign necessary to end the far right’s control of Congress and defeat an entrenched, Tea Party radical like Congressman Steve King.  Democracy for America members in Iowa and across the country are proud to stand along side Mowrer in his battle against King to cut wasteful Pentagon spending, raise the minimum wage, and take the country’s growing income inequality crisis head on. — Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Key facts about Democracy for America & its endorsement of Jim Mowrer (IA-4):

• Since DFA’s 2004 founding by Gov. Howard Dean, DFA members have raised more than $5 million and made more than 8.9 million volunteer calls in successfully electing 802 progressive candidates across the country.

• Just last month, Mowrer’s IA-4 race was cited for putting a competitive seat in play and added to the DCCC’s competitive “Emerging Races” list.

 Mowrer is DFA’s sixth endorsement for U.S. House in the 2014 cycle.  Other DFA-endorsed 2014 house candidates include Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17), Daylin Leach (PA-3), Kelly Westlund (WI-7), Staci Appel (IA-3) and Sharon Sund (MN-3).

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.