More than 1,400 Iowa Democratic Party delegates were elected at the district level and are eligible to attend the state convention.
Laura Hubka of Riceville, the Democratic Party chair in Howard County, will be there. She backed Bernie Sanders in the Caucuses.
“Senator Sanders brought up a lot of great issues during his campaign and he did such a great job of bringing in new people,” she told Radio Iowa. “That’s going to be my big focus is making sure that we keep that energy going and that we continue it on through November, through the General Election, and making sure that people focus on Hillary Clinton as our nominee. She won fair and square.”
While some online forums continue to feature “flame wars” between supporters of the two candidates, Hubka doubts there’ll be any clashes between Sanders and Clinton delegates in Des Moines on Saturday.
“Millions of people came out to vote for her and I’m willing to and I’m hoping to bring more people around to supporting her as well,” she said.
Hubka admitted, however, that losing “stings.”
“It’s a tough loss because it was such a contentious campaign,” Hubka said.
Having Donald Trump as the GOP’s presumptive nominee is a unifying force, she said, plus Sanders supporters hope to make an impact on the party platform. They’ll be pushing the party to call for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and hoping to create a new “progressive caucus” within the Iowa Democratic Party.
“We certainly had a very close caucus, but we’re already unifying and even though we have a presumptive nominee, but we don’t have a nominee yet, I think people are very intent on unifying around all our candidates,” Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Andy McGuire told Radio Iowa.
Former Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge won the Democratic Party’s U.S. Senate nomination in the June 6 primary, defeating three Democratic competitors.
“Democrats have a history of uniting quickly,” Judge said this week during an interview with KGLO Radio. “We’re going to do that again.”
Judge got a little less than half the votes cast in the primary. Her nearest competitor was about nine points behind. Second-place finisher Rob Hogg, a state senator from Cedar Rapids, got nearly four out of every 10 votes cast. Hogg has endorsed Judge.
“He’s a really good guy and I appreciate his support and will work very closely with him throughout this campaign,” Judge said.
The General Election campaign ahead offers Democrats opportunities they may not have expected a year ago, according to the state party’s chairwoman. And McGuire points to Trump as the reason.
“Certainly the hateful rhetoric on the other side is something that we all are united against,” McGuire said.
Nine Iowa Democratic Party delegates will be elected Saturday to attend the party’s national convention in Philadelphia next month. On April 30, 29 national convention delegates were elected at party conventions in Iowa’s four congressional districts.
Iowa Republicans held their party’s state convention a month ago.