Politics in Siouxland and the 4th of July, Denison

5 Jul

The last couple of weeks have been a bit busy with presidential wannabes visiting Siouxland. The last election cycle did not get that many visits from presidential candidates seeking contact with residents in northwest Iowa. This election cycle you see both Democrats, and especially the Republicans visiting and trying to connect with local residents, lining up potential supporters during Iowa’s caucus night.

I have been photographing these visiting folk and will post some of those photos a bit later. This weekend saw candidates throughout Iowa and New Hampshire walking in parades and “meeting and greeting” potential supporters. In Denison, Iowa, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) participated in the community’s 4th of July parade. Prior to the start of the parade, he told local Democrats that he loves walking in parades and has participated in many in his home state of Vermont.

But along with candidates, come the assorted allotment of media people, myself included, as I freelance for Zuma Press. It’s always interesting and fascinating in watching these people work, as a majority were from larger media organizations and travel for this type of assignment. For me, Denison was about an hour and 30 minutes from Sioux City. Everybody is vying for that shot or film footage of the candidate interacting with locals, even though the media sometimes ran interference with locals in trying to capture that interaction.

Denison is a pretty town, and has a nice downtown area. Although like many small communities, the town has its share of closed store fronts. But people love a parade and a holiday. The kids were out in force collecting candy thrown from the parade floats, as were their parents watching over them so they wouldn’t be run over while collecting candy.  With people lining the streets, residents gave Sen. Sanders a nice Iowa welcome as he passed by introducing himself.

It was a nice day to celebrate a holiday. I stayed a bit longer to photograph a some more of the parade, but had a deadline I needed to meet. This time next year though,  there will be only two candidates out stumping, and each will have considerably more media following them since the election in 2016 will be just 5 months away.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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