HIAWATHA — The folks who were writing obituaries for the Iowa Democratic Party after the 2016 election didn’t understand the fighting spirit of the party, according to state Chairman Troy Price.
He pointed to multicandidate primaries for governor and congressional races as well as more candidates running for statewide and legislative offices than in a generation as evidence of the energy and enthusiasm among Democrats.
“Obviously, they don’t know Iowa Democrats,” Price told delegates to the 1st District Democratic convention in Hiawatha on Saturday.
There are 22 Democrats running for statewide office, and the party is contesting 96 seats in the Iowa House and 23 in the Senate.
Democrats, he said, “are ready to take back our state and our country.”
The energy and enthusiasm are a reaction to all-GOP control of the presidency and Congress as well as the Iowa governor’s office and state Legislature, Price told the convention, which attracted 262 delegates as well as alternates and observers.
“So we’ve got a little wind at our backs,” Price said. “The question all of us as Democrats have to ask ourselves is this: Are we going to drop anchor and let the wave roll past us? Are we going to let the winds blow past us?
“Or are we going to do the hard part to raise the anchor, to raise the sails, to do the hard work to build the infrastructure, to do the hard work necessary to win
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“I don’t know about you all, but I am sick and tired of losing,” he said, encouraging Democrats to “do the hard part to raise the anchor, to raise the sails, to do the hard work to build the infrastructure, to do the hard work necessary to win.”
He predicted a “blue wave” that will “sweep right into the Statehouse, right into the Congress, and send Rod Blum packing, send Kim Reynolds packing.”
The convention heard from some of those candidates running for the nomination to face Gov. Reynolds and the four candidates running in the 1st District Democratic primary for the nomination to face Blum.
For the most part, they said political action committees and lobbyists — and their money — are controlling Republican politicians.
There was consensus support for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, undoing restrictions Statehouse Republicans put on collective bargaining rights last year, making progress on clean water, expanding access to health care and women’s reproductive rights.
Iowa 1st District Republicans held their convention in Monticello. Both parties will have state conventions June 16.
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