The Iowa endorsements continue to roll in for Pete Buttigieg ahead of tomorrow’s big Steak Fry event in Des Moines. Twelve more Iowa activists and elected officials are publicly backing the South Bend mayor, including several leaders in women’s rights organizations, LGBTQ leaders, a former Iowa City mayor and a notable past Bernie Sanders activist.
“Mayors, like Pete, are practical problem solvers,” said fellow mayor of Britt, Iowa, Ryan Arndorfer. “The paralysis and inaction in federal government simply isn’t acceptable in city government … As a fellow millennial, I’ve witnessed what happens when leaders in a younger generation step forward to lead. And, as a fellow Midwestern mayor, I recognize how Pete Buttigieg is uniquely qualified to move our country forward.”
The new endorsements follow up on a round of previous ones for Buttigieg from Eastern Iowa last week, along with Polk County Supervisor Matt McCoy’s support.
All the campaigns are looking to show momentum in the lead-off caucus state as the entire national political press corp and about 12,000 Democratic caucus-goers come to Des Moines for the Polk County Democrats Steak Fry. Nearly every candidate will be in attendance, and the campaigns are planning huge marches and rallies ahead of time to show off their organizing strength.
Perhaps the most interesting new backer of Buttigieg is Laura Hubka, who was a top activist in the state for Sanders’ 2016 run. Now the chair of the Howard County Democrats in Northern Iowa, Hubka has been one of the leading voices in Iowa for the progressive activists who got more involved after the last caucus.
“What brought me to Pete was the fact that he pulls us all together to meet somewhere in the middle,” Hubka said. “He is listening. Something we haven’t been seeing or hearing in politics for a very long time. To me, he brings calm and a sense of security. He is tough, concise and honest.”
George Appleby, a Des Moines attorney, was a Martin O’Malley state co-chair in 2016, and is also now backing Buttigieg.
Several of Butigieg’s new endorsers cited the excitement building about the candidate, who typically draws very large crowds wherever he travels in Iowa.
“I am a feminist. And I will caucus for Pete. Proudly. Enthusiastically,” said Mary Riche, social worker and member of the Iowa Chapter of National Social Workers Ethics Committee. “And… with a big ole grin from ear to ear because I believe he is tapping into and capturing a spirit and energy that will be unstoppable from today through November, 2020.”
Buttigieg is planning a four-day, open-press bus tour around the state immediately after the Steak Fry.
Here’s the full list of his new endorsements:
- Ryan Arndorfer, Mayor, Britt, IA
- Laura Hubka, Chair of Howard County Democrats
- Regenia Bailey, former Mayor of Iowa City, former Iowa City City Council Member, Founding Executive of Iowa Women’s Foundation
- John Hale, former Fort Dodge City Council Member and former Volunteer President AARP Iowa
- Terri Hale, board of directors for One Iowa
- Rich Eychaner, business owner, former commissioner on the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, co-founder of Iowa Safe Schools and the Iowa Pride Network
- George Appleby, retired attorney, Long-time Democratic activist, Des Moines City Attorney, Assistant County Attorney.
- Mary Riche, social worker and member of the Iowa Chapter of National Social Workers Ethics Committee
- Laura Sands, former Liaison for Health, Education and Workforce for US Senator Tom Harkin, Polk County
- Marilyn Staples, former President of the League of Women Voters of Des Moines, former Board Member of Grandview College, Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame Member
- Sheila Burton, Precinct captain for Obama in 2008 and 2012, precinct captain for Hillary Clinton
- Catherine Dietz-Kilen, attorney and Board Member of Planned Parenthood affiliate in Iowa and The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
by Pat Rynard
Photo by Emily Ross