Burlington Democrats undeterred by snow on caucus night
Young supporters of gubernatorial candidate Cathy Glasson brought an enthusiastic group to the caucus, handing out pamphlets, stickers and sporting t-shirts in support of their candidate.“I’m not going to lie, I love that she’s a progressive woman,” said Alexandra Rucinski. “I think women in every level of government is important and I’d love to see us have a progressive female governor, that’d be fantastic.”
“Ryan Rogers described Glasson, a labor leader and nurse from Iowa City, as the candidate with “big progressive ideas.” “We need a different mindset running Iowa,” Rogers said.”
More than 100 party activists filled IBEW Local 13 union hall Monday night to elect delegates and committee members for the county convention in March.
Snowfall did not deter Democratic faithful who turned out in large numbers at their Burlington precincts and across Des Moines County Monday night for the Iowa caucuses.
Although it wasn’t a caucus night in the same vein as a presidential year, it was a caucus nonetheless, with more than 100 party activists packed into IBEW Local 13 union hall.
The night began with Burlington-area precincts gathered together for a reading of the rules before they split off by precinct to elect convention delegates and committee members.
Young supporters of gubernatorial candidate Cathy Glasson brought an enthusiastic group to the caucus, handing out pamphlets, stickers and sporting t-shirts in support of their candidate.
“I’m not going to lie, I love that she’s a progressive woman,” said Alexandra Rucinski. “I think women in every level of government is important and I’d love to see us have a progressive female governor, that’d be fantastic.”
Rucinski was featured in campaign ads with Glasson talking about the closure of Burlington’s Planned Parenthood clinic and the integral role it played in providing her health care.
“It’s a vitally important issue that we’re facing with the closings of Planned Parenthood here in Burlington and the other clinics as well. I love that she’s dedicated to fighting to get us another clinic and the help that we need in this area and all the areas that are underserved,” Rucinski said.
Ryan Rogers described Glasson, a labor leader and nurse from Iowa City, as the candidate with “big progressive ideas.”
“We need a different mindset running Iowa,” Rogers said.
Barbara McRoberts, a Fred Hubbell supporter, volunteered to serve as a delegate at the Des Moines County convention in March.
A Des Moines native who moved to Burlington seven years ago, McRoberts said she witnessed Hubbell’s involvement in his hometown of Des Moines and thought the businessman had the experience to deliver positive results for Iowans.
“I think he’s the kind of leader that can speak to Democrats in the way they believe, the values the Democratic Party has, but I think he can reach beyond that to independents and Republicans,” said McRoberts, volunteering as chairwoman of Hubbell’s campaign in Des Moines County. “I meet a lot of people that are just really sad about what’s going on in the state of Iowa, and they’re not just Democrats.”
The Iowa Democratic Party has said it will release statewide turnout numbers and whether precincts broke into preference groups by candidates once official numbers are available.
Party officials said attendance was higher than the last off-year caucus in 2014 that brought out more than 5,000 Democrats, largely because the Democratic field is so crowed this year. If one of the seven candidates does not receive 35 percent of the vote on election day in June, delegates at the state convention will vote for who they want to represent Democrats in the November general election.
Caucuses across the state Monday were the first step in the process toward electing delegates and committee members to the state convention in June. Next, delegates will meet for the county conventions in March and district gatherings in April.
Republicans also held their caucuses statewide Monday night, electing delegates and committee members to their conventions and discussing issues to be considered for the Republican Party of Iowa official platform.
Given that it was an off-year caucus and Republicans have only one candidate challenging Gov. Kim Reynolds, Des Moines County Republican chairman Terry Davis said turnout in Burlington was “low, as expected.”