The Wing Ding Committee has issued the following press release regarding their endorsement for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Chair position:
Mason City, Iowa, January 3, 2017 – The Iowa Democratic Wing Ding Committee endorses Kurt Meyer– candidate, campaign manager, finance director, field organizer, and volunteer –to be the next Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party.
The County Chairs on the Wing Ding Committee first got to know Kurt as a candidate, then when he ran for Congress in the 2008 primary, and for the state legislature in 2010. As a candidate, Kurt was an exceptionally hard worker, raising money, walking the doors, and attending every event, large or small. Kurt knows how hard it is to run for office. He has applied that knowledge to help many other candidates both within the Tri-County Democrats’ counties, and in adjacent counties, including Mary Jo Wilhelm’s winning Senate campaign in 2012, and Todd Prichard’s Iowa House races.
As a County Chair and a Democrat, Kurt has walked with us, knocking on thousands of doors in this part of the state, and reaching out to Democrats through direct contacts and putting together events. He is a reliable presence whenever a candidate or a surrogate needs a forum, and he always shows up at events organized by others. His house in northern Mitchell County has been the site of many fundraising events over the years, and a welcoming bed and breakfast spot for campaign volunteers and candidates. He has supported the efforts of others, including the Seven-County Group sponsored by Butler County’s Dave Mansheim, and the many Cerro Gordo County events held at the home of Dean Genth and Gary Swenson in Mason City. Kurt shows up, even when others do not.
Kurt knows how to raise money. As a consultant to non-profit organizations, he helped organizations raise more than a half-billion dollars. His candidate fundraisers have poured thousands of dollars into Democratic campaigns, including checks he writes personally. He will not hesitate to pick up the phone and call donors, which is a substantial part of the responsibility the IDP Chair has, and should be part of how we measure whether a candidate for Chair can do the job. While all the candidates for Chair have progressive ideas and useful skills to bring to the job, no one, (with the possible exception of the former Senate Majority Leader), has raised money on the scale Kurt has. His background in organization management would bring that discipline to the IDP, which we believe is critical to the success of Iowa Democrats moving forward.
Politics is about relationships. Kurt has a wide network in northern Iowa of people who like, respect, and trust him. On the Wing Ding Committee, we have people who supported Clinton and people who supported Sanders, but we all support Kurt.
Uniting the Democratic Party will be a crucial first step and high priority for the incoming Chair, and Kurt is uniquely positioned accomplish this vital task. Kurt rose above the divisiveness of the primary. Even his wife, Paula, did not know who he would caucus for until he aligned. No other candidate for Chair maintained that degree of neutrality, and he gave every candidate confidence in his fairness. In the June primary, every Democratic candidate on the ballot was supported with respect and consideration. When the nominees were chosen, Kurt went all in to help them win. The Iowa Democratic Party needs a Chair who can lead us into battle with Republicans, and not with each other. We have confidence that Kurt can do that.
In the aftermath of the election, rural voters are on all of our minds. We cannot return to Democratic majorities and governors without them. In our rural counties, we have sometimes felt far from Des Moines. If we elect Kurt Meyer, for the first time in many years we will have a Chair who lives in a rural area of a rural county, in a rural part of the state, and who understands the issues we face in the more than 20 rural counties who raise funds with the Wing Ding.
On the Wing Ding Committee, we each know at least some of the other candidates for IDP Chair, and each one has skills and strengths to recommend him or her. Our decision to endorse Kurt Meyer was unanimous because we believe he has the skills we need to organize, raise money and win.
The Iowa Democratic Wing Ding is a unique grassroots fundraiser for county party organizations. In 2016, more than 20 counties joined us in Clear Lake, Iowa at the Surf Ballroom to raise money, hear speeches, and eat wings.
s/ Randy Black, Chair
Iowa Democratic Wing Ding
Though they are not affiliated with the Iowa Democratic Party, the Wing Ding committee originally met in 2003 to plan a democratic fundraiser that would raise funds for three county Democratic Central Committees and now raise funds for twenty-three county Central Committees. Their annual benefits include speeches from state and local officeholders and candidates running for office. In 2008 the Iowa Wing Ding began the annual tradition of awarding The Beacon Award to pay tribute to an outstanding National or State Democratic officeholder. The annual recipient represents an individual who provides a beacon of light to the party through leadership, integrity, guidance, honor and truth. Their next benefit dinner will be held at the Surf Ballroom (460 N Shore Dr, Clear Lake, IA 50428) on August 12th, 2017.