WATERLOO — Party faithful turned out for the Black Hawk County Democratic Party caucus on Monday night despite having a lot of reasons not to bother.
There were the below zero temperatures.
It was the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
And choosing a presidential candidate for the November election wasn’t even on the agenda.
Those 90-plus people who braved the cold for Monday night’s event at the Waterloo Center for the Arts received special praise from Vikki Brown, party chairperson.
“I have a heart full of gratitude for each and every one of you and your steadfast dedication for this democratic process,” Brown said. “Your commitment to shaping the political landscape resonates deeply. That’s one of the principles that leaders like Dr. King advocated for.”
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While the Republicans were deciding who to put on the ticket – it was Donald Trump for the majority –– the Democrats this cycle have adopted a mail-in system.
Party members have until Feb. 19 to request a Presidential Preference Card, which includes the names of incumbent President Joe Biden, U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., and author and activist Marianne Williamson as well as a space for “uncommitted.”
Cards will be mailed out and mailed back once completed. The results will be announced March 5.
Monday night’s in-person event focused on business at the state and local level with lawmakers delivering speeches about taking back control of the Iowa Legislature, which currently sees Republican majorities in both chambers and a Republican in the governor’s office.
“We need, right now, to create some kind of balance in Des Moines. … They are doing whatever they want,” said state Rep. Bob Kressig, D-Cedar Falls.
Attendees also got to meet the Democratic candidates for local offices.
Karen Showalter, currently elections manager for the Black Hawk County Auditor’s Office, will run for county auditor with the upcoming retirement of Grant Veeder.
Sarah Corkery, who operates the Corkery and Corkery marketing firm, is running in an attempt to unseat Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Marion, in the U.S. House.
Nate Neff, a captain with the Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Office, is running for the sheriff’s seat with the upcoming retirement of Tony Thompson.
Kamyar Enshayan, a former Cedar Falls City Council member, is running for a seat on the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors.
Ritchie Kurtenbach, a leader with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, is running for a seat on the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors.
County Convention for the party will be March 23 with District Conventions on May 4.
Iowa’s State Democratic Convention with be June 15, and the National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 19-22.