Presidential hopefuls to speak at soup supper


Kelby Wingert/Iowa State Daily

Sen. Jack Hatch, the Democratic nominee for the Iowa gubernatorial race, and Monica Vernon, his running mate, met with potential voters at Olde Main Brewing Company in Ames July 3, 2014. Vernon shakes hands with Jan Bauer, the Story County Democrat chairwoman, after the event.

Emily Berch

2020 presidential hopefuls will headline the Story County Democrats’ annual soup supper Saturday.

The soup supper will start at 5 p.m. at the Collegiate United Methodist Church, with Sen. Kamala Harris, Sec. Julian Castro and Gov. John Hickenlooper all slated to speak. Harris and Castro both announced their runs for president in January, and Hickenlooper is expected make an announcement soon.

J.D. Scholten, who challenged Rep. Steve King in his 2018 election, and newly elected State Auditor Rob Sand will also speak at the event. Story County Treasurer Ted Rasmusson will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Maddie Anderson, a member of Story County Democrats involved in the event planning, said it isn’t unusual for the soup supper to host multiple presidential candidates in the year before a primary and expects the candidates each to give their “stump speech” at the event and greet attendants as they arrive.

Some candidates may allow for a question and answer period, but Anderson said she is unsure if any will take advantage of the opportunity.

Story County Democrats Chair Jan Bauer said the organization is excited to meet the candidates and looks forward to “featuring other candidates at later events as their schedules allow.”

College Democrats President Taylor Blair said it’s important for students to get involved as candidates come to Ames, describing an in-person event with a candidate as “so different from a speech.”

Iowa and New Hampshire, the first primary states, typically see more of these candidate visits than other states do during the year before an election. Blair, a Wisconsin native experiencing his first caucus season, said he thinks this gives Iowans a unique opportunity to become involved.

“You never realize how truly important conversations are until you get involved,” Blair said.

The event is not ticketed, and free-will donations will be accepted at the door.