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Democratic Party delegate candidate plans to tour Iowa

BY CHASTITY DILLARD | MARCH 26, 2012 6:30 AM

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Political experts said though the methods of Tim Judd — campaigning in Iowa for a Democratic Party national-delegate position — are unusual, they may be beneficial to him and the public.

Judd began a four-week tour Sunday, traveling to all 24 counties in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District to hear issues from constituents throughout the area.

Delegates are voted on internally by the Democratic Party and not by public vote, making Judd's efforts unusual.

"I'm inviting people who are from the public who are delegates and advocates," Judd said. "I think it is absolutely critical that the voices of the public are heard and to encourage Democrats across our district to become more involved."

Chris Larimer, a political-science associate professor at the University of Northern Iowa, said Judd's approach could be educational for Iowa's communities.

"The only way [it would matter is] if [the public's] concerns are going to be reflected with the Democratic Party is if he pushes for changes on the Democratic platform," he said. "In some sense, that might be informative for the people, and that could be beneficial."

But people have to participate in politics, Larimer said, which can be difficult when it's always been dominated by a small but outspoken group.

"Most people don't like to talk about politics that much," he said. "And most people don't like to talk about their political views in an open environment."

Judd has been endorsed by more than 25 Democratic Party officials across the state.

Tim Hagle, a University of Iowa political-science associate professor, said campaigning will likely help Judd get his name out for a possible future in politics.

"It may or may not be successful, because the process for selecting is internal," he said. "If he is going around and talking to people, I think some people will probably be impressed."

Members of the Iowa City community asked Judd to voice their concerns on education standards during Sunday's Voices to Elect Tim Judd campaign launch at the Johnson County Democratic headquarters. Those who attended raised significant concerns about education.

"We can't strive for best. We can only strive for a reasonable education," said Iowa City parent Susan Sullivan. "The best education [is] only limited to those who have the ability to have private schools, private tutors and is never available to the public."

Iowa City resident Melissa Mattes said the nation needs to see education as a future investment, rather than a present burden.

"If we shift our perspective on education to treating those who are providing education and those who are going through the process as being the hope of our future or the source of our future greatness, then the issues of paying teachers appropriately, the issues of classroom size and classroom facilities and providing adequate equipment … would clear themselves up," she said.

Sullivan, who has an autistic son, said she hopes Judd's work will keep her issues on the platform.

"I need mine in," she said. "I care about my son. For the rest of his life, he is always going to need help. We cannot make the day-to-day ability to live. This is every day — not just a couple times a year."


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