Government

A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls head to NewBo Sunday

Candidates set to speak Sunday at progressive event

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, then a Democratic candidate for president, speaks at the Aug. 26, 2016, Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Des Moines. The event this year moves to the NewBo District in Cedar Rapids. (Erin Murphy/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, then a Democratic candidate for president, speaks at the Aug. 26, 2016, Progress Iowa Corn Feed in Des Moines. The event this year moves to the NewBo District in Cedar Rapids. (Erin Murphy/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A dozen 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls will take the stage Sunday afternoon in NewBo to make their pitches to progressive voters at the fifth annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed.

It’s the first time Progress Iowa is holding its summer event in Cedar Rapids. The statewide organization of 70,000 focuses on research, education and advocacy.

“Our goal Sunday will be the same as it is every year — getting people informed, connected with information and organized,” said Executive Director Matt Sinovic. “And, of course, we hope they’ll take action.”

The Corn Feed has been a fundraiser, but this year admission will be free. People are encouraged to register at iowacornfeed.com to save time when they arrive at the NewBo City Market, 11 Third St. SE in Cedar Rapids. Gates open at noon. The program begins at 1 p.m. with candidates starting to speak about 1:30 p.m. Each candidate gets 10 minutes to speak.

Candidates who are confirmed are Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing Secretary Julian Castro, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and author-lecturer Marianne Williamson.

Even though many of those attending the Corn Feed will have seen the presidential hopefuls before, Sinovic said, “this will be a different setting — not a banquet hall or a debate stage.”

It will be a test for some candidates to connect with people who are pretty likely to be caucusgoers this February, Sinovic said.

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“It’s an opportunity make a connection and leave an impression about what they want to do and how they can win,” he said. “It’s also an organizational test for the campaigns. Can they get their supporters to turn out?”

In addition to the speakers, there will be an activists fair with several labor groups, Indivisible Iowa, Planned Parenthood and various campaign groups having booths on the grounds.

And it’s forecast to be hot, with a high of 92 degrees. “Hot and humid conditions will occur this weekend with heat index readings ranging from the mid-90s to near 100 degrees,” the National Weather Service reported.

Corn-themed food will be available from NewBo vendors. The menu includes Mexican grilled corn, corn dip and pita chips, vegan cornbread muffins and tamales with corn masa, corn bourbon chocolate truffles, scalloped corn casserole and grilled corn and chili relish cheese sandwich with roasted pork.

There also will be live music and family-friendly activities, including a sand box sponsored by State Auditor Rob Sand. He and U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer will speak as part of the program starting at 1 p.m.

Not Enough For You?

In addition to speaking at the Corn Feed Sunday at NewBo City Market, many of the 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls will be participating in other events ahead of and after that event.

On Saturday, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak will speak at the Veterans for Peace (Chapter 169) annual picnic at noon

Monday, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet will tour the Iowa Flood Center at the University of Iowa Stanley Hydraulics Laboratory, 320 S. Riverside Dr., from 3 to 4 p.m. This event is not open to the public.

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Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. state Sen. Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, will host a Birthday Bash fundraiser at the Walker Homestead, 3867 James Ave. SW, Iowa City.

Confirmed candidates include: Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Rep. John Delaney and, possibly, Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Tickets will be available at the door or at https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ZWbrunch19

Throughout the weekend, candidates will be joining Sen. Rob Hogg, D-Cedar Rapids, for his series of “climate conversations.” The schedule includes:

John Delaney, 3 to 4 p.m. July 13, Groundswell Cafe, 201 3rd Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Seth Moulton, 7 p.m., July 14, Lucky’s, 86 16th Ave. SW, Cedar Rapids

Michael Bennet, 5 to 6 p.m., July 16, Karma Coffee Café, 1725 Boyson Road, Hiawatha

Tulsi Gabbard, 6 p.m., July 17, Veterans Memorial Park, 950 Rockford Rd. SW, Cedar Rapids

These events are free and open to the public.

l Comments: (319) 398-8375; james.lynch@thegazette.com

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