At Iowa Democratic fundraiser, Rep. McMorrow says the ‘decent majority’ can prevail

By: - August 13, 2022 8:21 am

Michigan Sen. Mallory McMorrow gave the keynote speech at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake on Aug. 12, 2022. | Robin Opsahl/Iowa Capital Dispatch

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa — Democratic candidates in the upcoming midterm election spoke Friday night to a small crowd gathered for the 19th annual Iowa Democratic Wing Ding in Clear Lake. Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst asked Iowans — and national watchers — not to write off Iowa, which has trended red in recent elections.

“We’re going to have a lot of surprises come November,” Konfrst said.

Michigan state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) was this year’s Wing Ding’s keynote speaker, a move that raised some eyebrows, as Iowa hosts the nation’s first presidential caucuses.

She said she understands Iowa Democrats’ struggle. The state legislator rose to political fame in a viral speech in April where she defended herself from baseless accusations from state Sen. Lana Theis (R-Brighton) in a fundraising pitch of trying to “groom and sexualize kindergartners” because she supports LGBTQ+ rights.

McMorrow took her time in the national spotlight to fundraise for Michigan Democrats, raising more than $1 million from donors across the country — swamping Theis’ fundraising attempt. She said she flipped her seat representing Michigan’s 13th District in 2018 by appealing to voters who want an end to partisanship and last week won the Democratic primary for the new 8th District.

Now she wants to flip Michigan’s Senate entirely, which has been GOP-controlled since 1984, by reaching those same voters.

Iowa Democrats can take back their federal seats and the state Legislature the same way, she said. With issues like abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and climate change on the line, McMorrow said Democrats can win big in places like Iowa and Michigan.

“They know there are more of us, the decent majority, then there are of them,” McMorrow said. “They need us to quit.”

A version of this story first ran in the Advance’s sister outlet, the Iowa Capital Dispatch.

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Robin Opsahl
Robin Opsahl

Robin Opsahl is an Iowa Capital Dispatch reporter covering the state Legislature and politics. Robin has experience covering government, elections and more at media organizations including Roll Call, the Sacramento Bee and the Wausau Daily Herald, in addition to working on multimedia projects, newsletters and visualizations, they were a political reporter for the Des Moines Register covering the Iowa caucuses leading up to the 2020 presidential election,