Living in Society

Can Deidre DeJear Win? The Answer is Yes!

Deidre DeJear.

I attended enough events and got enough one-on-one time with Deidre DeJear – both during her current campaign and when she ran for Secretary of State – to know she would be a good governor. When I compare her to other Democratic gubernatorial candidates, she is hands down the most enthusiastic I’ve seen in recent years. We Democrats need some enthusiasm to defeat the Republican machine.

I like her and plan to vote for her yet this race is not about me.

The question I get asked repeatedly is “Can she win?”

At her June nominating convention, DeJear said, “My story being possible in Iowa, ensures that all our stories are possible.” It resonated with me when I heard it. Iowa writer Chuck Offenburger said it would resonate with Iowans if it were broadcast across the state.

Offenburger laid out a case for DeJear in a July 18 column.

He gave reasons why continuing a Reynolds administration would be a bad choice. His conclusion about Reynolds’ governance is “Doesn’t that sound like a whole lot of big-government overreach — which Republicans are normally the first to bitch about — by a governor who might be trying to stretch her shelf life too long?”

Offenburger also told DeJear’s story. He concluded with “It’s time for Barack & Michelle Obama to make another visit to Iowa.” It is polished writing of an experienced journalist which Democrats should read. I believe the column helped DeJear’s cause.

As counterpoint, Offenburger’s writing seems likely to be drowned out by the conservative noise machine with its ubiquitous right-wing radio, television and social media chatter. Not enough people have heard this case. More need to.

When people I don’t know ask me, “Can she win?” they are likely referring to one of the following things.

The governor is commanding the polls with a 17-point advantage in the latest Des Moines Register Iowa Poll. DeJear is behind in fundraising as well. With a bit more than three months until the Nov. 8 election, DeJear and Iowa Democrats could overcome these disadvantages with hard work and more voter engagement, especially as we get closer to the election. Can she win? Yes she can if you vote for her and convince your friends to do likewise.

Deidre DeJear is black. There is a racist strain running throughout Iowa with Iowans who won’t vote for a black governor regardless of their qualifications. Can she win? Yes she can if you vote for her and convince your friends to do likewise.

Is there a “Blue Wave” coming in November? Some express skepticism, including me. We are worn out from the elections beginning in 2010. When we drag out the old sawhorse about Obama’s 2008 and 2012 wins, or the true story of Tom Vilsack’s come from behind victory, we seem to be running out of Democratic anecdotes. We need new stories of a kind to which Iowans across the state can relate. Deidre DeJear is that story.

Can she win? Yes she can if you vote for her and convince your friends to do likewise.

She could use your financial donation as well. Click here to donate.

Click here to access Offenburger’s column and share it with a friend or family member.

~ First published on Blog for Iowa. A version of this post ran as a letter to the editor in the online Des Moines Register on Aug. 4, 2022.