CEDAR RAPIDS – Thousands of Iowans withstood sweltering heat to hear from nearly half of potential Democratic presidential candidates during the fifth annual Progress Iowa Corn Feed on Sunday, July 14.
Though initially with 12 confirmed candidates, two didn’t make the event: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who left Iowa to address a massive power outage at home, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, whose flight was delayed and was still in the air when the Corn Feed ended after about 3 1/2 hours.
Of the remaining 10, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared to commnd the most star power, attracting a large following of reporters and supporters, but the field’s top-tier candidates didn’t make an appearance, including former Vice President Joe Biden; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; California Sen. Kamala Harris and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
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All were invited to the free event at the NewBo City Market in Cedar Rapids. Market Executive Director Scott Kruger estimated the crowd at 4,000 people, though some media outlets reported estimates as low as 1,000.
Each of the candidates was given 10 minutes to speak, closely “audited” by State Auditor Rob Sand, who spoke during the event. First District Rep. Abby Finkenauer also addressed the crowd.
With high humidity and temperatures in the 90s, beverages were just as popular as Iowa sweet corn, which was sold by at least one of the vendors at the market.
The Corn Feed is an annual fundraiser for Progress Iowa, a nonprofit that promotes progressive political causes. The event is typically held in the Des Moines area, but was moved to Cedar Rapids this year to reach beyond central Iowa.
In addition to Buttigieg, candidates making an appearance at the event were: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and author Marianne Williamson.
See photos from a past Biden appearance in Cedar Rapids and more from today’s event, below: