Iowa Democrats react to losing first in the nation caucus
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa loses political prestige Friday after the Democratic National Committee rule-making arm stripped the state of the first in the national title.
The committee recommended South Carolina be the first in the nation after President Biden sent a letter saying the diversity in the state would better represent the party’s diverse electorate.
“It’s a tragic decision that the Democratic Party is taking,” said newly elected state representative Sami Scheetz.
Scheetz said the caucus’ was one of his first political memories when President Obama visited Cedar Rapids when he was a child. He went on to work extensively for Senator Bernie Sanders’ caucus campaign. He said the decision to move the caucus hurts little-known candidates like Obama.
“President Obama would not have been President if it weren’t for the caucus giving him a national stage,” he said. “He spent a year here going to coffee shops talking to Iowans, making his pitch for what his vision for the United States would be.”
While Scheetz said this would silence Iowa voices, Johnson County Democratic Chairman, Ed Cranston believed changes weren’t necessarily a bad thing.
“There are modifications that were probably needed,” Cranston said.
He doesn’t believe the move would have much impact, and it may help the party.
“Here in Johnson County, it has been a challenge for us to find room for over 22,000 participants and 64 precincts,” said Cranston. “Some of those precincts have over 1,000 people.
Cranston and Scheetz do agree, Iowans will need to work hard to make their voices heard in the future.
“We can’t rely on national Democrats coming and knocking on doors, traveling across the state, investing, and tons of media coverage,” he said. “We’re going to have to do all that on our own.”
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