After Big Iowa Trip, Buttigieg Secures 20 New Endorsements

by Pat Rynard – Dec 9, 2019 (IowaStartingLine.com)

After another campaign swing through Iowa that saw large crowds turn out for Pete Buttigieg, the South Bend Mayor announced a new set of endorsements from 20 Democratic and community leaders from across the state.

Nine local elected officials, along with another four former elected officials, added their names to Buttigieg’s campaign. Those included Gary Vick, Mayor of Raymond; Andrew Wenthe, Mayor of Fayette and former state representative; and Mitch Gross, Mayor Pro Tem of Coralville.

Gross introduced Buttigieg to a boisterous room of over 2,000 people in Coralville, a statement-setting event that capped off Buttigieg’s three-day Iowa trip.

In all, Buttigieg spoke before over 5,000 people at his own events these past several days in Grinnell, Mt. Vernon, Davenport, Washington and Coralville, along with several hundred more at multi-candidate forums in Waterloo, Grinnell and Cedar Rapids. Just under 400 came out to see him in Washington, a town of about 7,300 people in a rural, conservative county, which local Democrats said was the largest turnout since Barack Obama visited in 2007.

Also part of the new endorsements is Suzanna de Baca, a recent president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, and a key leader in women’s rights networks in Iowa.

I have become convinced that America needs a new generation of leadership and Mayor Pete has become my choice due to his pragmatic and informed policy perspectives, his service in the military, his hands-on experience in local Midwestern politics and his commitment to diversity,” de Baca said. “Additionally, as former CEO of a Planned Parenthood affiliate, I am deeply impressed by his agenda on women’s rights, one of the most comprehensive plans focused on women so far in the Democratic primary.”

Among other new Buttigieg backers is Urbandale city councilmember-elect Matt Blake. Several other newly-elected municipal Democrats from last month’s races backed Cory Booker. Buttigieg also picked up the support of Ross Hadley, Decorah City Council Member; Rich Clewell, Davenport City Council Member; Jill Shudak, Council Bluffs School Board Member and Vice Chair of Pottawattamie County Democrats; Katie Koehler, Mason City School Board Member; and Donna Kreamer, Indianola School Board Member.

“I think Mayor Pete provides a path to unify the country when elected in 2020,” said Shudak, whose labor leader husband previously endorsed Buttigieg. “He listens to people out in the country and has crafted policy plans like his K-12 plan, that speak to me and show how each plan is going to be paid for.”

As with most of Buttigieg’s endorsement rollouts, this one included several faith leaders. The Mayor often weaves in stories of faith into his stump speech. A trio of reverends endorsed this time around: Reverend David Borger Germann, Johnson County; Reverend Bill Ekhardt, Polk County; and Reverend Beth Harbaugh, Jefferson County.

All the new support comes as Buttigieg shows no signs of slowing down in the Iowa Caucus, where he’s pulled into a lead in recent polling. It’s also led to increased scrutiny from the press and online activist crowd, but so far the issues he’s been pressed on don’t seem to be impacting his appeal in Iowa.

The full list of new endorsers are:

  1. Suzanna de Baca, former President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland
  2. Gary Vick, Mayor of Raymond
  3. Andrew Wenthe, Mayor of Fayette and former Iowa State Representative
  4. Mitch Gross, Mayor Pro Tem of Coralville
  5. Sandra Johnson, former Mayor of Washington
  6. John Wittneben, former Iowa State Representative, Emmet County
  7. Paul Scherrman, former Iowa State Representative, Dubuque County
  8. Ross Hadley, Decorah City Council Member
  9. Matt Blake, Urbandale City Council Member-elect
  10. Rich Clewell, Davenport City Council Member
  11. Jill Shudak, Council Bluffs School Board Member and Vice Chair of Pottawattamie County Democrats
  12. Katie Koehler, Mason City School Board Member
  13. Donna Kreamer, Indianola School Board Member
  14. Kathy Barr, former President of Clarke Community School Board
  15. The Reverend David Borger Germann, Johnson County
  16. The Reverend Bill Ekhardt, Polk County
  17. The Reverend Beth Harbaugh, Jefferson County
  18. Kate Casaletto, gun safety activist, Johnson County
  19. Kevin Drahos, gun safety activist, Linn County
  20. Jerry Hageman, labor activist, Black Hawk County

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s