Democrats look to expand caucus reach with satellite locations

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - On February 3, Iowans will have the opportunity to support their favorite presidential candidate at caucus locations across the state.

The Iowa Democratic Party is expanding satellite caucus sites for their February 3, 2020 caucuses, which could include Fire Station #2 in Iowa City, pictured. Photo date: Dec. 20, 2019 (Brian Tabick/KCRG)

Some people, however, aren’t able to make it to their caucus location.

“If we get a call we have to go,” Brandon Pflanzer, a firefighter with the Iowa City Fire Department, said.

Pflanzer is one of at least 20 firefighters who will be working the day of the caucus. That is why he has registered Fire House 2 as a satellite location.

“If this wasn’t a satellite location then I won’t be able to participate,” Pflanzer said.

Pflanzer said city leaders still need to approve the location as a satellite spot but only registered Democrats will be afforded the opportunity.

“We won’t be participating in that,” Aaron Britt, communications director for the Iowa Republican Party, said.

Britt said they haven’t ruled out the idea of a similar process in the 2024 election but said they want to be careful in how they implement it to not step on the toes of other early states.

“New Hampshire prides themselves on the fact that they are the first in the nation primary,” Britt said. “We don’t want to take too many steps to overstep our bounds here as a caucus state.

President Donald Trump will almost certainly be the Republican nominee for the party, but the caucus also allows for county positions in the party to be chosen as well as other party business. Not being a part of the process is something Pflanzer said he knows all too well.

“It’s part of the job,” Pflanzer said. “We understand that not everything could happen the way we want. We miss that are family related to personal to us. “

99 satellite locations have been approved so far, including 25 that are out of state and three international locations.