Clinton visits Iowa City


A third presidential candidate, in a field that has grown in the past several months, will hit Iowa City.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who launched her campaign in June, will be back in Iowa today.

Clinton, 67, will appear at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., then head to Ottumwa for an event later in the evening.

After a series of invitation-only events that consisted of a small panel with “everyday Iowans,” Clinton has now moved on to mixed events with smaller “house parties” and public events.

“I feel very honored that anytime a Democratic presidential candidate chooses our county, because it’s a great opportunity to have speak about our issues,” said Martha Hedberg, the head of the Johnson County Democrats. “[To show] how strong we are, how active we are, and how engaged we are. I think that’s true of all of the candidates that make it to the county.”

Clinton is not the first Democratic presidential candidate to stop by Iowa City.

Both Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley have held events in Iowa City. Sanders made his stop several days before his official campaign launch in May.

In June, O’Malley made his round in Iowa City following his bid in May.

There are five running for the Democratic presidential nomination — Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, and Webb will all attend the Iowa Democratic Party’s Hall of Fame Celebration.

Dianne Bystrom, the director of the Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University, said Clinton probably chose Iowa City and Johnson County because the community has one of the highest numbers of registered Democrats in the state.

According to the Johnson County Auditor’s website, 37,991 voters are registered as Democrat — approximately 43 percent of all voters in Johnson County.

Though it is summer, which means many University of Iowa students will probably not be in attendance, Bystrom said the crowd is expected to still be liberal and progressive even without students in attendance.

“[Iowa City] tends to be more liberal, and certainly she’s being challenged by Bernie Sanders,” Bystrom said. “This givers her a chance to talk to the type of voters who may be attracted to Bernie Sanders.”

Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign’s communications director said in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Monday that the campaign is concerned about Sanders.

“We are worried about him, sure,” Palmieri said in the interview. “He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish.”

Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, will speak at an open house for Clinton’s Iowa City organizing office on July 15.

She is one of several state leaders — ranging from state representatives and senators to former heads of the Iowa Democratic Party — to speak at 10 different open houses.

“This campaign is built by Iowans, and we welcome the support of everyone who wants to pitch in and help elect Hillary Clinton and build an America in which all families can get ahead and stay ahead,” Hillary for Iowa State Director Matt Paul said in a statement.

Mascher said she backs Clinton because of her long résumé, such as her time as secretary of State and how during her time in the Senate she tried to put partisanship behind her and work with Republicans and Democrats on issues that mattered.

“I think she is extremely well-qualified, and she has an opportunity to show women they can be nationals heads,” Mascher said, noting she believes it’s long overdue to have a woman president. “It gives people the opportunity to see who she is and what she stands for. It gives people the opportunity to be a part of that.”

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