What does the future leaders of the Democratic Party and issue advocacy look like? Iowans will get several chances in the coming weeks to get a glimpse of a few possibilities.
Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigeg will headline Progress Iowa’s annual Corn Feed fundraiser this Saturday, along with Center For American Progress President Neera Tanden. Merkley and Buttigeg have both been mentioned as potential 2020 presidential candidates in the wide-open Democratic primary. Merkley’s stock in some progressive circles has been on the rise after he was the only senator to endorse Bernie Sanders in 2016, and he’s been out front on issues like universal healthcare. Buttigeg ran unsuccessfully for the DNC chair, but is seen as a young rising star within the party who has been traveling the country in recent months.
The Corn Feed event will be the perfect opportunity for either to lay out an early vision for what they see as important to the future of the country and the party. Details on that event here.
Martin O’Malley is also returning to Iowa this week, fresh off of endorsing Senator Nate Boulton in the Democratic primary for governor. He’ll be speaking at a number of Senate Democrats fundraisers in Eastern Iowa before hosting a fundraiser for Boulton in Des Moines at (where else?) Saints in Beaverdale.
This will be O’Malley’s tenth or eleventh trip back to Iowa since the Iowa Caucus in February of 2016. He’s kept in close touch with supporters since the election, stoking speculation that he’ll try another run for president in 2020 – this time in theory in a more competitive field without two star candidates that suck up all the oxygen in the race.
A trio of Congressional Democrats are attending the Polk County Steak Fry at the end of the month on September 30, and announced presidential contender John Delaney of Maryland may attend as well. Cheri Bustos, Seth Moulton and Tim Ryan headline the event. Moulten and Ryan have been mentioned as potential national candidates in the future.
All this follows Bernie Sanders and Amy Klobuchar’s second visit to Iowa this year last week. Sanders held an event to promote his newest book on political revolution in Iowa City and Klobuchar spoke at an event honoring women in politics in Ames.
by Pat Rynard