Tag Archives: politics

A Candidate Frenzy in Siouxland, Democratic Hopefuls Make their Pitch

8 Jan

Former vice-president and 2020 presidential Democratic candidate hopeful JOE BIDEN begins his 18-stop “No Marlarkey Bus Tour” at the Biden campaign office in downtown Council Bluffs, Iowa, and will campaign in western Iowa after the Thanksgiving holiday Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019.

With the new year beginning here in Siouxland as it is elsewhere, every four years the state of Iowa is blessed in being the first in the nation with its political caucus involving presidential politics. With less than four weeks remaining to make their pitch to the residents of Iowa why they should become a party’s nominee 2020 presidential Democratic candidate hopefuls are crisscrossing the state and Siouxland itself in making yet another pitch. This happened in 2015 with a large Republican field. And it’s a point of pride with Iowans that they are able to get some personal face time with national candidates wanting to tell their stories and why they should be selected to serve.

U.S. Sen. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN) and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful waves to people who waited the better part of an hour as her campaign schedule ran behind while trying to campaign in a number of Iowa counties before stopping at a small winery in Ida Grove, Iowa Sunday, Dec. 22, 2019 after the most recent Democratic presidential debate held in December. Klobuchar is making a three-day 27 county bus tour through Iowa.


Entrepreneur and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate hopeful ANDREW YANG, center, gives a thumbs up for a supporter’s selfie as a CNN camera person does a sound check for a live broadcast interview at Yang’s campaign office in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019.

Retail politics demand that candidates spend time with possible future constituents. It’s still a bit of a norm in the day and age of social media and the internet where everything is uploaded to and shared with the world. Depending on one’s definition of world, being a community, state, nation or a select sphere of people who believe in the same norms and policies.

Former Congressman JOHN DELANEY (D-MD), left, and 2020 presidential Democrat nominee hopeful campaigns during a breakfast stop at the Horizons Restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020.


U.S. Sen MICHAEL BENNET(D-CO), left, and 2020 presidential hopeful campaigns at a local brewery in downtown Sioux City, Iowa Saturday evening, Nov. 8, 2019.

Ans for all the caterwauling that other states and pundits make about Iowa getting a personal and up close look at potential candidates,  people in Iowa take the challenge and responsibility seriously. Asking tough questions about how and why a particular candidate might be worthy of their support. Unlike attendance at large “big-city” rallies or high end dollar fund raisers and dinners, the people meeting these potential Presidential persons are moms, small business owners, folk who live in a rural setting most often and in communities on average no larger than 3-5,000 people, and many times maybe only 1,200 people who live in a small town. They represent a microcosm of American life with all the ills of a larger society but often times without the benefit that is afforded to larger communities because “rich” people don’t live there and individually these folk have no sway or lobbying power than the more “affluent” try to affect to curry favor.

U.S. Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-PA) and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful campaigns at the Woodrow Wilson Junior High School gymnasium in Council Bluffs, Iowa Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. All candidates are in a push to visit the state of Iowa with roughly one month left before the Iowa caucus event, Feb. 3, 2020.


Businessman and investor TOM STEYER and 2020 presidential Democrat nominee hopeful campaigns at the Sioux City Convention Center in Sioux City, Iowa Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.


South Bend, IN, Mayor PETE BUTTIGIEG, and 2020 presidential Democratic nomination hopeful, listens to a woman’s issue dealing with Social Security as he meets Iowa voters in an intimate setting at Cronk’s Cafe in Denison, Iowa Nov. 26, 2019.

The people only have their own dreams and dreams for the children to have a better life. A hope maybe that their children might pursue some kind of career that would keep them nearer home and not have to move away to a larger city to pursue work options and make enough money to survive, get married and start a family on their own. So the folk of these small Siouxland and other communities in Iowa feel they have a vested interest in being picky about who might represent them and others like them in the next election. And not all candidates make the cut, some falling by the wayside between the start of their campaigning in ernest and and their failing in having the funding to continue. But most try. And I find it interesting that since 2015 and the large Republican field then with the large showing of Democratic hopefuls this election cycle, running for the highest office in the nation seems to have become a bit more democratic in and of itself. Candidates can survive for a period of time on smaller donations and not just being bankrolled by wealthy individuals and corporations and others who more than likely have a more selfish interest in who gets elected. And so it goes, until Feb. 3 in Iowa, when everyone gets together in their local caucus and chooses who they would like this time to represent themselves and the candidates go forth hoping they will become the chosen one.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

U.S. Sen. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ) and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful laughs along with the audience during an introduction as he campaigns iat The Fruited Plain Cafe in Sioux Center, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 21 2019 after the most recent Democratic presidential debate held in December.


Former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate hopeful JULIAN CASTRO speaks on the campus of Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 as he campaigns in western Iowa.

Siouxland’s part of the Presidential Horserace Begins

24 Mar

Sen. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MASS), center, talks to reporters after her organizing event in the Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I recently wrote about the 2015 Iowa caucus campaigns that Republican presidential hopefuls pursued starting around April of that year. This time around the Democrats have started even earlier, beginning in January and most hopefuls have appeared in Siouxland which is a bit more red than a more purplish/blue hue found more in the central and eastern part of the state of Iowa. All are doing “exploratory” visits to see if folk in Iowa actually like them and would support a run for the office of president.

New York City Mayor BILL DE BLASIO, center, a Democrat, shares a joke with VLADIMIR LANDMAN, left, of Sioux City and formerly from Brooklyn and TISHA DUMKRIEGER, right, also of Sioux City, at a meet and greet with local Democrats at Rebos restaurant on Historic 4th Street in Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday evening February 23, 2019, as he explores entering the 2020 presidential race.


Former Maryland Congressman JOHN K DELANEY, center, opens a campaign office in Sioux City, Iowa, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019 and greets supporters and others who attend. Delaney has visited all of Iowa’s 99 counties through his 23 trips to the state. THis week Delaney also opened a campaign officein Council Bluffs , did meet and greets in Ft. Dodge and Glenwood and a town hall meeting in Dennison as he pursues a 2020 presidential campaign.

Early on many of these meet and greets happen in local residents’ homes where people get a chance to listen to those politicians visiting and ask questions. Some questions can be softballs, but others prod visiting presidential hopefuls into expanding their comments even though it’s still early in the process. Those very active in Iowa politics, even on a local level get the chance to really learn more about these people and see what they are like. Sometimes it feels a little like a show and tell party, but local, retail politics is just that.

Rep. ERIC SWALWELL (D-CA), center right standing, and an Iowa native, talks with members of the Truman Club of the Woodbury County Democratic Party in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday evening, Feb. 16, 2019 as he explores his potential in running for President in 2020.


Former San Antonio, TX, mayor JULIAN CASTRO,left, meets and talks with members of the Democrat Woodbury County Truman Club in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday evening, February 22, 2019, as he explores entering the 2020 presidential race.


Now that spring seems like it has arrived, hopefully these potential candidate visits will become a little more fast and furious as they try to prove themselves within a crowded field, as yet there are still a few folk deciding still if they will be running. But it seems politicians are always running. It just depends on whether you believe what they say, or not.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

U.S. Sen. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND (D-NY), reacts to an attendee during a Woodbury County, Iowa, Democrats first time meet and greet at the residence of a local couple in Sioux City, Iowa Friday evening Jan. 18, 2019, as she explores running for the office of the President.


Former Colorado Governor and businessman JOHN HICKENLOOPER, a Democrat, talks members of the public at the Coffeeworks in Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday morning February 23, 2019, as he explores entering the 2020 presidential race.


Author and spiritual guru MARIANNE WILLIAMSON speaks at the Donna Reed Theatre and talks about poverty in America, in Denison, Iowa Saturday, March 2, 2018, while exploring a presidential run for 2020.

Siouxland Election 2012, Sioux City

22 Jun

In Iowa every four years politics is ever present. We are lucky living in this state getting to see potential presidential candidates and eventually the candidate emerge from a running field of thoughtful men and women. Each striving to put their individual mark on history, as fleeting or as lasting as it may be. I got the chance to photograph some of the Republican presidential candidates during the Fall of 2011 and then prior to the Iowa Caucus night when local delegates came together to select who they felt would share their own interests leading the country forward, writing a new chapter.

Images of the candidates as they stumped in the area to make their case to constituents and interested parties why they believed they were best qualified to lead the country for the next four years.

Jerry Mennenga, Sioux City, Iowa

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