Kamala Harris must have impressed at yesterday’s West Des Moines picnic. Victor Dutchuk, the chair of the West Des Moines Democrats, endorsed Harris this morning after her speech to several hundred local Democrats at the annual event.
“Senator Harris is for the people, and I am for her,” said Dutchuk, a National Guard veteran. “Her focus on issues such as affordable healthcare, higher wages and quality education are just one example of the priorities she shares with everyday Americans.”
Harris was one of three presidential candidates who spoke at the West Des Moines Democrats’ well-attended event on Wednesday afternoon. Amy Klobuchar and Joe Sestak were also on hand. Dutchuk’s son introduced Harris to the crowd.
“I took on successfully, and I prosecuted the big banks when they preyed on homeowners. I’ve prosecuted the pharmaceutical companies when they preyed on seniors,” Harris said. “I know predators. And we have a predator living in the White House.”
The attendees responded strongly to Harris’ speech, many of whom were excited to see her following her standout performance in last week’s Democratic debates.
— Iowa Starting Line (@IAStartingLine) July 3, 2019
“Senator Harris has demonstrated the courage to take on the most challenging and important issues – and the ability to stand toe to toe with any opponent,” Dutchuk said. “She has also shown us all that she has what it takes to call out President Trump and send him packing from Washington.”
Dutchuk’s support should be of particular importance for Harris in the Iowa Caucus, as West Des Moines has become a hotbed for Democratic activism in recent years. Local activists there organized to get the first African-American woman elected to the West Des Moines City Council in 2017, then followed it up with ousting an entrenched Iowa House Republican incumbent in 2018.
Once a reliably Republican suburb, West Des Moines has quickly turned into an important and growing Democratic stronghold in the metro area, one that will also deliver a fair share of delegates in the Iowa Caucus. Many of the newly-engaged activists are women, and this is a city that Hillary Clinton did well in during the 2016 caucus, and Barack Obama carried in 2008. It seems like the kind of region that Harris could build up a base of support for February’s Iowa Caucus.
Harris returned to Iowa this week for 4th of July festivities with significant new support in the lead-off caucus state. A poll put out Wednesday morning showed Harris surging to second place, ahead of Joe Biden, though essentially in a statistical tie with both Biden and Elizabeth Warren here.
by Pat Rynard
Photo by Julie Fleming