Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

August 20, 2012

Democrats stump, raise funds at picnic

Steve Woodhouse

Knoxville — The Marion County Democrats held an event Saturday at Auld Park in Knoxville, where three of the party's legislative candidates offered brief comments. 

Approximately 40 people filtered in and out of the fund raiser, taking part in a co-op lunch at the park. In between speeches, pies and honey were auctioned off to support the party. Former Marion County Democrat Chair Marty Duffy offered a $200 donation, if others would match it and bring in a total of $800. He came close, and as of the end of the event, the deadline was extended through the party's meeting on Tuesday. 

The money raised is expected to help local candidates, most of whom were in attendance. Tim Tripp, seeking District 40 in the Iowa State Senate, was the first to address the crowd. 

"We're really facing an uphill battle," Tripp said. He asked the Democrats to do what they can to support him, as well as fellow candidates Megan Suhr and Dick Schrad. As a candidate, he is still trying to get his name out there. He said he is turning down money from lobbyists and political action committees.

Tripp believes in the good of Iowans. He quoted John F. Kennedy to end his speech, saying "Those things that unite us are stronger than those that divide us." He intends to carry a similar philosophy if elected. 

Schrad agreed with everything Tripp said. He shared his experiences meeting the people of Senate District 14, the office he is seeking. 

"I'm sensing an awful lot of voter fatigue," Schrad said. "(Voters) want people who are reasonable and willing to listen." 

Schrad said he has strong, personal convictions. He is willing to listen to ideas from others, take the best ideas and make the best decision. Schrad wants to be sure that the people he represents also share their ideas. He has already heard from Republicans, whom Schrad said are concerned about capital gains and other aspects of the tax structure. They want to keep the wealth of Iowa in the state. 

Schrad said wants to find a workable solution to the health care issue, without throwing out the entire "Affordable Care Act." This is another issue he has heard concerns about. Education also remains an area of concern, especially for the southernmost areas of the district.

Suhr shared with the crowd her experience of working with the Legislature on maternity care issues. She said she has established relationships with legislators and understands the people of House District 28, the area she seeks to represent. 

"I know the kinds of policies these people would like to have in place," Suhr said. Suhr left the workforce to care for her children. They are now in school, which has offered her the chance to get back to work. 

Suhr said she would like to help veterans, if elected. She does not believe they should be forced to drive to Des Moines or Iowa City to receive medical care. 

"I would like to help our veterans here in the area," Suhr said. She added that she would be available to constituents and she would represent the entire district. 

Following the event, Marion County Democratic Chair Anita Martin was asked for her thoughts.

"I am very happy with the way it went," Martin said.