The North Iowa Democrats welcomed the Keynote Speaker for the 11th Annual Wing Ding Fundraiser who was retiring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa. This year’s event was held at the historic Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa on Friday evening.
Senator Harkin’s tenure as a U.S. Senator is noted for his signature piece of legislation that he crafted to protect the civil rights of millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities. This historic legislation is known as the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Senator Harkin as also instrumental in the drafting and passage of the Lily Ledbetter Act (fair pay for women in the workplace).
A highlight of the evening’s festivities was the presentation of the Annual Beacon Award to former U.S. Representative, Leonard Boswell. The Annual Beacon Award is presented to a current for former elected Democrat who has embodied the principles of the Democratic Party and has accomplished significant Democratic ideals.
The event was attended by most all of the major Democratic Candidates running for office this year. This year’s Wing Ding featured speeches by Jim Mowrer, running for U.S. Representative from the 4th District, Sherry Taha running for Secretary of Agriculture, John Nederbach for State Auditor, Brad Anderson for Secretary of State, Pat Murphy candidate for U.S. Representative 1st Congressional District and Bruce Braley candidate for U. S. Senate (the seat being vacated by Sen. Tom Harkin).
Senator Amanda Ragan introduced Iowa Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal and Rep. Sharon Steckman introduced Iowa Representative Mark Smith, Iowa House Minority Leader.
Afterwards, area elected officials were present to meet the public. The North Iowa Wing Ding has grown significantly during this past year and now represents a broad consortium of seventeen counties in Iowa including: Butler, Calhoun, Cerro Gordo, Dickinson, Emmet, Floyd, Franklin, Hancock, Hardin, Howard, Kossuth, Mitchell, Paso Alto, Winnebago, Woodbury, Worth and Wright.