Root, a 21-year-old from Council Bluffs who had just graduated from college, was struck and killed in Omaha by a driver who police say was drunk and street racing. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump mentioned the case last night during his speech in Cleveland.
Charles Petterson of Persia, a delegate at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, says Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the judge in the case “didn’t do their jobs.” The driver, who was in the country illegally, was released after he’d been charged.
“That guy had been caught and released several times,” Petterson says. “We don’t need new laws. We need to enforce the ones we’ve got.”
Petterson says it’s time to enforce border security.
“People are saying: ‘Enough is enough,'” Petterson says.
Petterson was a precinct captain for Ted Cruz on Iowa Caucus night. Now that Donald Trump is the GOP’s nominee, Petterson says he and other party volunteers are “going to have to work hard” to reach people who are “adamantly opposed” to Trump.
“The goal isn’t to get them to be supporters,” Petterson says. “The goal is to get them to vote.”
Petterson’s focused on warning voters about Hillary Clinton rather than making a positive pitch for Donald Trump.
“He’s a draft-dodging coward in my book, disrespects prisoners of war. He belittles people,” Petterson says. “…I’m not an enthusiastic Trump supporter, but I will do what I need to do because we cannot have four more years of Obama.”
Nineteen-year-old Westhenry Ioerger of Alden, a Drake University student, was the youngest member of Iowa’s delegation at the Republican National Convention.
“Freedom’s my number one issue and the Republican Party just offers so much more freedom than the Democratic Party,” Ioerger says.
Ioerger volunteered on Ted Cruz’s Iowa Caucus campaign, but he says as the convention progressed, it seemed most delegates were starting to unite behind Trump. Ioerger will be voting for the first time in 2016 and he plans to cast his ballot on Election Day.
“Probably when I get older, I’ll just mark the box and send it in, but going in and having that experience is unique, I guess,” Ioerger says. “And unique to our country.”
Ioerger met all but one of the candidates who were running for president last year in Iowa.