Presidential candidates to speak at Big Tent on the Prairie


Gillian Holte/Iowa State Daily

Story County Democrats County then-Secretary Tom Beell attends the annual Soup Supper. The Story County Democrats held their annual event at the Collegiate United Methodist Church on Feb. 23.

Jake Webster

Central Iowa will get a taste of ‘Big Apple’ politics this weekend as the Story County Democrats ‘Big Tent on the Prairie’ summer fundraiser plays host to three presidential candidates from the New York area.

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Mayor Bill de Blasio, D-New York, will speak starting at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Alluvial Brewing Company in Ames.

De Blasio currently serves as mayor of New York, Booker previously served as mayor of Newark just across the Hudson River in New Jersey and Gillibrand worked as an attorney in Manhattan before running for Congress.

While Gillibrand and Booker entered the race for president in January and February respectively, de Blasio did not announce his candidacy until May 16, making him the last candidate to enter the race for the Democratic nomination.

The first Democratic primary debates will be held June 26-27 in Miami, and in order to qualify a candidate must have received at least 1% in three Democratic National Committee approved polls or have received 65,000 unique donations and at least 200 unique donors from at least 20 different states.

Booker meets both of the qualification criteria, Gillibrand appears to meet the polling criteria and needs less than 5,000 more donations to hit that threshold, according to her campaign twitter. De Blasio seems to meet the polling criteria, though his campaign has not released numbers of donors.

There are 24 prominent Democrats seeking their party’s presidential nomination. The debate stage in Miami only has 20 slots the candidates can fill.

In the event more than 20 candidates meet one of the criteria, meeting both criteria will be used as a tie-breaker to determine who will be in the debates.

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story contained a caption listing Tom Beell as the Secretary of the Story County Democrats. Beell is the former secretary. The Daily regrets this error.