Four local candidates for state and county offices greeted voters Sunday at a rally hosted by the Dallas County Democrats at the Adel Family Fun Center. Among the supporters turning up at the rally was U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak of Mount Pleasant.
Talking policy and poll numbers were two Democrats running for seats in the Iowa House of Representatives — Bryce Smith of Adel in District 19 and Scott Heldt of Perry in District 20 — one Iowa Senate candidate, Andrew Barnes of Clive in District 22, and a candidate for the Dallas County Board of Supervisors, Julie Stewart of Waukee.
Vickee Adams of Waukee, chair of the Dallas County Democrats, opened the festivities and also served as auctioneer for the sale of several college football-themed gift baskets. Bidding was brisk on the baskets, as many Iowans take their college football at least as seriously as they do their politics.
Patty Judge, former Iowa Lieutenant Governor and the current Democrat candidate facing Sen. Chuck Grassley in the U.S. Senate race, was unable to attend the afternoon event, which drew a crowd of about 40 voters, but Vilsak’s speech was well received.
“This race is going to be close in this state,” Vilsak said. “Every state that’s a battleground state is close, every state, so this one could be the difference. You all could be the difference. There’s enough people in this room that could make the difference in this race in Iowa, especially given this last couple of days. You could turn the tide.”
Vilsak was referring to the U.S. presidential campaign and upheavals in the Republican party since the release Friday of Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” and the notable loss of support for his candidacy among many powerful Republicans.