Mike Franken was born and raised in Lebanon, Iowa, the youngest child of a rural schoolteacher and a repair shop owner’s nine children.
Mike grew up working in his father’s small machine shop where he ran a lathe, did welding, and helped with general implement repair. He was a hired hand for neighboring farms until, at the age of 17, he began a three-year-stint working at a slaughterhouse in Sioux Center, Iowa. He obtained a Navy scholarship in 1978 and graduated in engineering from the University of Nebraska. He saw sea duty in four navy destroyers, a destroyer squadron, and an aircraft carrier.
He deployed frequently to the world’s hotspots and was the first commanding officer of the USS WINSTON S CHURCHILL. He has significant Pentagon experience beginning with a legislative tour with Senator Edward Kennedy, and then in multiple strategy, policy, and planning positions involving the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa.
In these uncertain times with our democracy under attack, Iowans need Admiral Mike Franken in the US Senate. Through his work in the US Navy and at the Pentagon, Mike knows the global challenge of Russian aggression, and the propaganda and disinformation tactics used by Vladmir Putin.
His life in Lebanon, Iowa has taught him the values of community, family, faith, and rural life, which guides his efforts to invest and build in rural Iowa.
As the father of a child with disabilities, he has seen how inconsistent care can be in years where he was transferred 17 different times. She would have great support in one community and the next there would be no support. For his daughter and for veterans who were injured, he seeks to pick up the banner of former Senator Tom Harkin as a disability advocate.
Michael Franken has dedicated his life to serving our country and doing what’s right. Franken was the only voice on a team of military advisers to oppose George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. Franken served under President Barack Obama and oversaw numerous successful missions to protect our country including leading U.S. forces in Africa to fight terrorists and pirates.
Now he’s running for the Senate to take on corporate special interests, make Iowa a leader in creating good jobs in clean and renewable energy, and make healthcare more affordable.