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Monday, June 17, 2024

Iowa Democrats cite keys for journey to General Election

Iowa Democrats cite keys for journey to General Election

Iowa Democratic Party leaders say hard work and message discipline will yield results for the party in November’s election.

Iowa Democratic Party chair Rita Hart kicked off the party’s 2024 state convention this weekend by acknowledging there’s a “long, hard haul” ahead. “It takes a lot of work to take this party where we need it to go,” Hart said. “…Find the thing that you can do that you can contribute to this effort and do it in spades.”

All six members of Iowa’s current congressional delegation are Republicans and Republicans have large majorities in the Iowa House and Senate. House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst is one of the 36 Democrats in the Iowa House.

“I need you to believe that we can get this done because we can…We can flip seats in the Iowa House…this year and we can get to the majority as soon as humanly possible,” Konfrst said Saturday. “Not as soon as I want, but sooner than they think. We’re going to get this done.”

Konfrst told the delegates Iowans are concerned about public education and abortion — and she said Democratic candidates need to focus on those two key issues.

“Republicans want to…distract us. They want to talk about everything else. Why? Because they’re wrong on pubic education and reproductive freedom. They’re wrong,” Konfrst said, to applause, “and Iowans aren’t with them. Iowans are with us.”

Senate Minority Leader Pam Jochum is one of 16 Democrats in the Iowa Senate. She said Democrats are “the defenders of public education” in Iowa.

“We, Iowa Democrats, are the party of the people and never forget it,” Jochum said, to cheers. “Iowans want us to focus on the issues that affect their everyday lives, like affordable child care and housing and collective bargaining rights…They do not want us arguing over bathrooms and bedrooms and books.”

Vice President Kamala Harris recorded a video message that was played for the 325 delegates who attended the convention.

“There is so much at stake in this election,” Harris said. “In this moment, we witness a full on attack on hard fought, hard won freedoms and rights, including the freedom of a woman to make decisions about her own body and not her government telling her what to do.”

Democrats who are running for seats in the U.S. House addressed convention delegates, too. Second district nominee Sarah Corkery of Cedar Falls is running against Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson of Marion.

“Sometimes we have to get mad to get people out to the polls and I know what I’m mad about. I’m mad about women’s rights getting taken away. Who’s mad about that?” Corkery said, to cheers.

Lanon Baccam, the Democrat who’s running against Republican Congressman Zach Nunn in the third district, also emphasized the abortion issue.

“Zach Nunn and extreme politicians like him have no problem forcing their way into their doctor’s office, to tell you if, when and how you can start a family,” Baccam said.

The General Election in November 5th — 140 days away.

Iowa Democrats also announced on Saturday that Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear will be the keynote speaker at a party fundraiser on July 27th. Beshear, a Democrat who just won a second term as governor in 2023, is from a state that, like Iowa, has big GOP majorities in the Kentucky legislature and both of the state’s US Senators are Republicans.

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