2020 candidate Amy Klobuchar in eastern Iowa: bring together ‘fractured’ communities

The senator from Iowa’s neighbor to the north completed her first campaign stop in eastern Iowa this weekend where she told her story and called for bipartisanship.

Emily Wangen, Politics Reporter

Nick Rohlman
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks during a campaign stop at the Hickory Garden restaurant in Davenport, Iowa on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., made her first stop in eastern Iowa this weekend as she seeks the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

During her events she discussed a number of policy points. Some issues she stressed during her events included investing in infrastructure, expanding access to health care with a public option, and investing in education. She added that she would support making two-year college programs free and would like to expand Pell Grants.

Klobuchar also touted her legislative accomplishments and bipartisanship, adding that her ability to reach across the aisle would be beneficial as president.

“What I see right now is our communities fractured all over this nation,” Klobuchar said during her stop in Davenport.

Since taking office in 2007, Klobuchar has sponsored more than 700 pieces of legislation in the Senate, more than half of which have concerned health policies.

Nick Rohlman
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., shops for a t-shirt during a campaign stop at Raygun in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Klobuchar started off the weekend Saturday morning when she joined other 2020 candidates in campaigning for Democratic candidate Eric Giddens who is running for a Waterloo state Senate seat  in a special election. From there, she held meet and greet events in Dubuque and Independence.

On Sunday, Klobuchar held two meet-and-greet events in Cedar Rapids at Raygun and Davenport in a packed back dining area at Hickory Garden Restaurant. In between events she joined Linn County Democrats in the Cedar Rapids St. Patrick’s Day parade. Her events drew in approximately 100 people each on Sunday.

Mike Wyrick, chair of the Linn Phoenix Club, a group that looks to elect more Democrats in Linn County, said Klobuchar was the first 2020 candidate to have an official event held by the group in 2019. He added that Linn Phoenix Club has held events with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro in August, before he announced his presidential bid and Eric Swalwell, D-Calif. In April. Swalwell is expected to soon announce a run for the White House.

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“We’re very, very lucky to be in the situation that we are here in Iowa,” Wyrick said.

U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, was in attendance for Klobuchar’s first event of the day, but added he has not made a decision as to who he will endorse yet.

“I’m telling every one of them I want to be as helpful as possible,” Loebsack told reporters in Cedar Rapids. “The most important thing in my mind is who is best able to win the next election.”

Nick Rohlman
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., speaks with Rep. Dave Lobesack, D-Iowa, at the Pig and Porter restaurant before a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Laura Liegois, a Muscatine resident, said she has not decided which candidate she is backing yet, but hopes to learn more about all of the candidates as they campaign through Iowa.

“As a voter it is my responsibility to know what each candidate’s about before I make the final decision,” Liegois said after Klobuchar’s meet and greet in Davenport.

She said she believed Klobuchar brings an ability to discuss issues with people of different backgrounds and liked how she connected with voters.

Nick Rohlman
Campaign paraphernalia sits next to a sign in sheet during a campaign stop for Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at Raygun in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Sunday, March 17, 2019.

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and medical doctor and administrator Andy McGuire said she is campaigning on Klobuchar’s behalf because of her ability to pass legislation and win red districts.

“I was really not going to get back into politics because I’ve been in it for awhile,” McGuire said following Klobuchar’s event in Davenport. “It’s just so important that we have somebody like Amy Klobuchar as our president, I couldn’t stay on the sidelines.”

Klobuchar is a Minnesota native and served as the county attorney in Hennepin County before being elected as Minnesota’s first female senator in 2006. She serves on a variety of committees including the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee. Klobuchar announced her candidacy for president during a snowy Feb. 10 rally on Boom Island in Minneapolis.