The challenger to Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley's seat in Congress is in Davenport on Tuesday looking to see what help she could offer mental health facilities in Iowa.
Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor, Democrat Patty Judge, is looking to find issues that she can use to differentiate herself from Grassley, and the area of mental health is one where she's turning her focus. She is making several stops this week at different medical centers in Iowa, trying to gauge how the U.S. Senate can best serve the medical community. Her stop at Genesis Health Systems in Davenport led her through the newly-expanded Behavioral Health Center, which in July unveiled a space with 10 additional beds for adults and three new beds for kids, all focused on in-patient care.
Judge says that in nearly every other part of the state, including other areas in the Quad Cities, those communities have pushed a need for more beds. After seeing empty beds and the services at Genesis, she says that Davenport is on the right track, but that doesn't solve the problem.
"It's a head scratcher because I don't think this is available in many communities across the state, and we have to figure out a way to do that," Judge said.
She hopes that she will be able to apply some of the lessons she's learning in these tours into crafted plans as a senator, but she has an uphill climb against the incumbent Grassley. Based on the latest numbers from Real Clear Politics, Judge still trails by nearly 11 points.