CRESCO – Approximately 50 people from Howard County and surrounding areas gathered at Kessel Lodge last week to listen to Iowa gubernatorial and congressional candidates, along with a surrogate for the first declared presidential candidate for 2020, John Delaney, at a meeting of the Howard County Democrats.
In attendance were gubernatorial candidates Andy McGuire, Cathy Glasson, Ross Wilburn, Nate Boulton, and James Davis of Charles City speaking for John Norris. Also present at the event were George Ramsey III, candidate for U.S. Congress, 1st District, former Iowa Senator Bill Heckroth speaking on behalf of his son, Thomas Heckroth, and Mark Galinsky, Iowa outreach director for the Delaney for President Campaign, speaking for John Delaney.
Howard County Democratic Party Chair Laura Hubka introduced the candidates, and also announced incoming Democratic Party Chair Rick Nance.
“This is a wonderful turnout and I want to thank you for inviting me here. The last time I was here, I was knocking on doors for (former Iowa Senator) Mary Jo (Wilhelm). Mary Jo is just a fabulous role model, and was a fabulous senator.”
“I was raised in a family of eight. My dad was a World War II fighter pilot who came home and started a construction business.”
“Mom stayed home with us. The thing I remember the most about growing up was talk about caring. If someone was sick, we went over and helped them out. If someone in the community fell down, the community got them back to their feet.”
“Traveling through the 99 counties in the last couple of years, I don’t hear that as much. What I hear about is people don’t feel like they’re getting a fair shake, and they don’t feel like they are getting ahead with their families. I’m a doctor because I care about people when they were sick and injured, and I would be a governor who would care about all people being a success. That’s every person, wherever they live, whatever they are doing, that they can be all they can be.”
“As a physician, I feel that health care is a right, not a privilege. I talked to some of the people caught up in this Medicaid privatization mess, and we’d made access to health care difficult for them. I talked to a mom of a child with disabilities. She has to drive an hour-and- a-half to get healthcare for her child. That’s not the Iowa way. That’s not caring about every citizen. As your governor, no one will have to worry about access to health care for their child or for themselves,” she said.
“I also hear a lot about mental health and substance abuse and addiction. Iowa ranks 50th in mental health beds and we’re 47th in providers, and we’ve turned our law enforcement into our first line mental health providers. They have to put people in jail or an emergency room, two of the worst places for people in crisis. As your governor, I will make sure that there are mental resources in every community for our citizens; I think that is important.”
She continued, “I also hear about the 15,000 women who no longer have their Planned Parenthood clinics because we’ve defunded Planned Parenthood. As a woman and a mother of five daughters and as a doctor, I will restore Planned Parenthood funding the very first day I am in office,” she said.
Cathy Glasson said, “I’m running for governor because I’m very sick and tired of seeing Iowans getting beat up. This year, Governor Reynolds and the legislature stripped away union rights from 184,000 hard-working Iowans, but they didn’t stop there; they lowered the minimum wage in Iowa’s largest counties.
“We don’t need a governor who is going to strip rights from workers and drive us down to the lowest common denominator. It’s time we had a governor that is going to step up and make big, bold changes, who is not afraid to stand up against the corporations and CEOs and make big changes to move our state forward, not backward.
She continued, “We need a governor who is going to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. We need a governor who instead of attacking collective bargaining and unions, is going to stand up and make it easier for workers to join a union or employee association not just roll back collective bargaining. We absolutely have to make sure stop demonizing teachers and starving public education and make sure the teachers and kids have the resources they need no matter where they live.”
“I don’t think anyone wants to governor who is going to let corporate agriculture off the hook when they pollute over 750 waterways. Clean water should be a birthright for every single Iowan in this state. I’m a nurse, a union nurse and I’ve been fighting for quality affordable healthcare for decades. I’m tired of the debate in D.C. that is not going to improve health care of Iowans and offer affordable coverage for Iowans. I’m standing to ensure every single Iowan has access. We need universal single payer healthcare in Iowa or they need to pass Medicare for all in D.C.”
Glasson said, “Our kids are graduating with huge student debt. It’s time we make college affordable to everyone who attends our public universities, and we absolutely need to make community colleges tuition free. We can’t win in 2018 if what we offer voters is watered sown, centrist, middle-of- the-road candidate or ideas. We need someone that’s going to step up and take bold progressive steps and move our state forward.”
“I met John Norris in 1987. He was Jesse Jackson’s campaign manager. In 1998, the Iowa Democratic party was in tatters. We hadn’t won the governor’s office for 30 years, and Tom Vilsack was behind in the polls. John came in and took over the state party and righted the ship. Then he became Governor Vilsack’s chief of staff, so he knows state issues very well.”
Davis continued, “Then he went to work in Washington for Vilsack in the USDA, and in the Obama Administration in a number of different positions. John’s got world-class experience but he also has Iowa common sense.”
Davis said, “John has a rural development strategy. He has the ability to bring this together; he’d make a great governor.”
Nate Boulton said, “I serve in the Iowa Senate and I represent East Des Moines and Pleasant Hill in the Iowa Senate but I grew up in a Columbus Junction, a town of about 2,000 people.”
“I wanted to stand up for workers and workplace rights, representing injured workers and worker compensation cases, people who have had their lives turned upside down by workplace injuries, just looking for benefits and reasonable mental care to get their lives back on track. I’ve represented people who have been wrongly terminated, victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, and labor unions and labor law.”
He continued, “The Branstad-Reynolds Administration has given me a new practice area: We’ve sued them three separate times now when they’ve overreached on Iowa’s constitution and used illegal vetoes to hold back and take away from working families in our state. They shut down the mental health facilities in Clarinda and Mt. Pleasant, at a time when we know we need to do more, not less, for mental health funding. They shut down those facilities after a Republican House and Democratic Senate came together to fund those facilities. Instead of offering some new network of service, they shut them down and left people without services.
“I talked to a man whose brother died within three weeks after the facility in Clarinda was closed, because there was nowhere for him to go. That’s what this agenda has been about.
“When I went to…