Presidential candidate makes stop in Clarion

With the state’s Democratic caucuses only months away on February 3, Iowa has become its typical hotbed of political activity. The various Democratic presidential candidates in the race have been crisscrossing the state in droves for town hall meetings, meet and greets and roundtables. Understandably, most of these campaign stops occur in the Iowa’s population centers like Des Moines, Fort Dodge or Mason City. However, last week, Wright County finally got some attention from one Midwestern candidate. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar held a “drop in” last Tuesday, November 26 at Clarion’s own Timbukbrü.

Klobuchar’s visit to Clarion was just one of five stops she made in north central Iowa on Tuesday. Earlier in the day, she made stops in Northwood, Forest City and Garner. The Wright County visit was billed as a “drop in” so it was a pretty casual event. There was no planned speech or calling on the crowd for questions. Rather, Sen. Klobuchar sat at a table at the brewery, sipped on a beer and munched peanuts with several local people sitting around with her.

The informal conversation was wide-ranging in topic. Klobuchar asked the crowd about Wright County and Clarion, and chatted briefly with Timbukbrü’s owners, congratulating them on their success. She asked about the Democratic Party in the county and expressed her support for District 4 House candidate J.D. Scholten.

Klobuchar also engaged with the crowd on a variety of political issues. She discussed rural hospitals and healthcare at length with Iowa Specialty Hospitals CEO Steve Simonin who was in attendance. She reminded the crowd that she is not a supporter Medicare for All and is “concerned about the effect that it will have on hospitals in small towns.” She supports a public healthcare option but not getting rid of all private insurance like some of her competitors. She also talked about how she would expand help for mental health issues, including taxing opioids to cover such costs. The senator was also questioned about immigration, trade issues and water quality.

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