Progress Iowa announced their headline speakers for their annual Corn Feed fundraiser this year: South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. Congressman Dave Loebsack will join them on stage. They’ll be part of a large speaker list, as every gubernatorial and congressional candidate have been invited as well. In past years nearly every major candidate has attended.
The progressive messaging organization’s events often offer a chance for Democrats with national ambitions to speak before an Iowa crowd. Merkley’s name has been mentioned in the very wide potential field for 2020. He was the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in the 2016 primary, and CNN ran a presidential speculation article on him just two days ago. It noted that Merkley has become on of the Senate’s most outspoken Trump critics, though he’s typically had a more quiet demeanor in his push for progressive policy issues.
“People across America are fired up to fight for an America that creates opportunity for everyone, not just the wealthy and the powerful,” Merkley said in a press release. “They reject Donald Trump’s hate and xenophobia and believe in our basic promise of equal opportunity for all. Progress Iowa is leading the fight to defend Iowans’ health care, provide clean drinking water, and fight for living wage jobs and tax fairness, so I’m looking forward to joining them. And I can’t wait to try the corn!”
Buttigieg competed seriously for the DNC chair position earlier this year and appeared to head into the election with the third-most votes, but dropped out right before the actual vote. At age 35 and the youngest mayor of a city of at least 100,000, Buttigieg pushed the idea of a new generation of leadership for Democrats. His success at local-level elections has been pointed to as a model for candidates around the country.
This is Progress Iowa’s 3rd annual Corn Feed, a family-fun event in downtown Des Moines at the Simon Estes Amphitheater. It’s being held on September 10th this year and features booths for progressive organizations, a live artist painting and lots of sweet corn. You can get your tickets at this link.
by Pat Rynard