Cyclones for Vilsack vies for attention as election looms

Yard signs and absentee ballots are readied as field organizer John Hall, senior in political science, works to prepare for the Cyclones for Vilsack campaign. The campaign is working to elect Christie Vilsack as Iowa’s 4th [corrected from 5th] District representative in the House of Representatives.

Along with all of the political events going that have been happening on campus lately, there is a group that would like to inform spread the word about one specific election: the Congressional race between Steve King, current U.S. representative, and Christie Vilsack, former First Lady of Iowa. Cyclones for Vilsack is a group started this summer by Maddy Becker, senior in political science, and aims solely to promote Vilsack’s campaign to be election to the House of Representatives.

When asked why she decided to start this group, Becker said she interned for the campaign during the summer and really wanted to spread Vilsack’s message to other students. The group began when Becker started contacting people from high school and people in her political science courses at Iowa State to see if she could start getting people to join her cause. After having a small group meeting, they made a page on Facebook called, “Cyclones for Vilsack.” As of Tuesday, Sept. 4, it had 65 total people in the group and continues to grow.

When asked how many members have been attending their meetings, Becker and group treasurer Spencer Hughes, junior in speech communications, both said: “The group is still growing,” and “More people are always welcome to join.”

When asked why students should support Vilsack in her campaign against King, both Becker and Hughes said it boils down to her simply being more supportive of education and trying to make education more affordable.

“She wants to preserve Iowa’s Pell Grant system to make people without income for college able to go. Steve King would like to cut this,” Hughes said. “She also wants to make sure we get to keep our student loan re-payment plan the same and have the ability for people going into public service to get loans forgiven.”

Becker added to this, saying: “King would like to change the rules for this. King has just never represented a district with a college in it, and therefore doesn’t really know how to represent the students’ needs well. Whereas [Vilsack] cares about our lives not only in college but how successful we will be afterward.”

Iowa is one of only two states in the country that has never had a congresswoman; Becker and Hughes believe that needs to change.

Meetings for Cyclones for Vilsack are at 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays in the 0060 Hixon-Lied Student Success Center. This Thursday, Sept. 6, they would like to have a debate party where they will listen to a debate over the two candidates and provide refreshments for the attendees. Their goal is to eventually get Vilsack on campus to speak to Iowa State’s students.