116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
WATERLOO — U.S. Rep. Rod Blum will skip next week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland to spend time campaigning in his 20-county district.
'Given the competitive nature of the race and Blum's commitment to reach most communities in the district, he decided campaigning in the 1st District would be a better use of his time,' said Jeff Patch, communications director of Blum for Congress.
The congressional newspaper Roll Call last week listed Blum, who is in his first term, as the most vulnerable incumbent House member in the general election. He will face Democrat Monica Vernon in a district that leans Democratic.
Patch said Blum's
decision was not because the convention's focus on the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in particular but rather its focus on national politics.
'Congressman Blum decided he could best engage potential voters by campaigning in Iowa communities like Cedar Falls instead of Cleveland,' Patch said. 'Iowans expect to meet and discuss issues with candidates and elected officials in their hometowns.'
Blum, a Dubuque businessman, has said he will support the Republican nominee for president, but he does not agree with everything Trump has said.
Blum will focus primarily on canvassing and making phone calls to voters. He also will push his proposal for 10 debates with Vernon across the district. Vernon has countered with two debates in keeping with 'the precedent set' by the two previous general election cycles.