Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack issued a challenge to the Iowa Democrats who’ve been in Boston at their party’s national convention. Vilsack told ‘em they’re going to have to work harder than they’ve ever worked before to get party nominee John Kerry over the top. “I don’t know about you, but I love a challenge,” Vilsack said during remarks to Iowa delegates. “I love a challenge. I love a challenge.” Delegate Linda Langston of Cedar Rapids took Vilsack’s challenge to heart. She plans to give speeches to civic and community groups when she returns to Iowa as a way to spread the message and the enthusiasm she picked up at the convention. Delegate Frank Sample of Des Moines says he’s ready to write letters, knock on doors and walk in parades, as he says people sometimes don’t pay attention and “sleep walk” through an election. Delegate Tom Powers of Waterloo says he’ll focus on races up and down the ticket. But a lot of the talk at the convention has been about the roughly four percent of Americans who haven’t decided whether to vote for Kerry or for Bush, and party activists are being told to focus on women voters. Delegate Mary Mascher of Iowa City did some brainstorming, and hopes to target voter registration drives in places women frequent, like beauty salons. Mascher wants to put voter registration cards in child care centers, too. Delegate Som Baccom of Des Moines arrived in Iowa as a refugee from Vietnam as a child and she plans to focus on getting legal immigrants to vote. Twenty-five-year-old delegate Elesha Gayman of Davenport plans a Trick or Treat event on Halloween that’ll have a get-out-the-vote theme, and she’ll wear a costume.“Lady Liberty, of course,” she says, laughing. Another 25-year-old Iowa delegate, Lauren Haldeman of Iowa City, plans to play her accordian on the street to attract potential voters to sign voter registration forms. She says it’s worked before. “Either that, or they run away,” she says.
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