Ames Democratic Caucus hits record attendance of 849


Photo: David Derong/Iowa State D

Democratic caucus-goers listen to Christie Vilsack in the Ames High School cafeteria on Tuesday, Jan. 3, during the Democratic caucus.

Morgan Fleener

With 849 attendees, the Democratic caucus at Ames High School on Tuesday night exceeded the estimated attendance by 100 people. 

The attendees were able to observe the passionate, dedicated and enthusiastic atmosphere that overtook the building as participants expressed their commitment and interest in President Barack Obama’s campaign. 

Democratic U.S. Congress candidate Christie Vilsack said she feels the reason for this high turnout is a result of the Democratic Party in Story County being commmitted to solving the nation’s problems. She focused on how active the youth has been in the community.

“I always love when I see young kids out here supporting this system,” Vilsack said. “The youth are a key factor in building the bench for the future of this country.”

Recent ISU graduates Casey Petrashek and Jay Ackerman have helped volunteer and promote the Democratic caucus in Ames during and after pursuing their education at Iowa State.

“Volunteering has changed my prospective and allowed me to gain a better insight of the democratic process,” Ackerman said. 

Petrashek and Ackerman said there is an organization on campus called the “Cyclones for Obama” club that allows students to gain an awareness of the goals Obama has proposed for the country.

This group helps Obama’s campaign by numerous phone calls, preparing events and helping participate in promoting and discussing his ideas across campus, Petrashek and Ackerman said. 

Malika Jeffries-El, assistant professor of chemistry, said she was overjoyed with excitement as the cafeteria echoed with shouts in support for Obama as he delivered his speech of attempting to convince citizens why he should be re-elected as the best leader for the United States.

“We live in Iowa, it’s an interesting opportunity that we should all take part in,” Jeffries-El said. “It’s amazing to see the time and effort the community has put forth in this.”