KNOXVILLE – About 50 people braved wintry conditions Sunday to meet three Democratic candidates at Peace Tree Brewing Co.

House District 28 candidates Ann Fields and Zachary Pendroy and House District 79 candidate Samantha Keith spoke with voters and explained why they are running. Stanley Bingham, a candidate for the county Board of Supervisors, was ill and did not attend.

Fields said that the effort people made to travel through inclement April weather shows a commitment to the political process.

Fields said she was running for CHANGE, an acronym that stands for collective bargaining, health care and expanded mental health services, agriculture, natural resources, gender equality and women’s reproductive rights, and education.

Pendroy, her opponent in the June 5 primary, said he is is getting into politics because of how Republican policies have affected him and his parents.

“We have been greatly impacted by what’s been happening, especially with the Trump administration and their proposed regulations and their tariffs,” he said.

Pendroy said voters at the event seemed to engage with the candidates and their messages.

Keith, who is looking to fill the spot being vacated by Guy Vander Linden, said the turnout encouraged her.

“It’s a real friendly atmosphere,” Keith said. I’m enjoying everyone’s company.”

Keith provides crisis intervention services for Mahaska and Marion counties. She supports more funding for victim services.

Ethan Goetz is a general assignment reporter for the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached in the newsroom at 641-842-2155, ext. 19, or via email at Follow him on Twitter @Ethan_Goetz.