Former President Bill Clinton will attend a funeral in Iowa today, paying tribute to former party chairman Ed Campbell. Campbell is a long-time Iowa Democratic Party stalwart. He served as an aide to Harold Hughes when Hughes was Iowa’s governor and a United States Senator.
Campbell also managed John Culver’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate before becoming chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party from 1977 to early 1982, helping establish Iowa’s Caucuses as a crucial first stop for presidential candidates. The Campbell-Clinton connection dates back to 1992.
Campbell endorsed Bill Clinton early in that campaign — while Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was running for president, too. Campbell’s wife, Bonnie Campbell, served as Iowa’s attorney general, ran for governor in 1994 and then took a job in the Clinton administration, leading the newly-created Violence Against Women office in the Justice Department. Bill and Hillary Clinton issued a statement of sympathy over the weekend. Clinton said he and Hillary “were blessed to have Ed’s friendship, support, and sage advice.”
The funeral is scheduled to start at noon in Des Moines. Campbell, a Fort Dodge native, died last Thursday at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer.