Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge makes Obama-backing public

Iowa Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge today made a public statement of support for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama — at a statehouse news conference organized by the Obama campaign.  Click on this link to see the Radio Iowa story of the Obama camp’s work to woo more delegates at this Saturday’s conventions in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.  You may also listen to the entire 20 minute news conference, as there’s a 20-minute-long mp3 attached to that story.

The last question at the event centered on the news surrounding former New York Congresswoman/Hillary Clinton backer Geraldine Ferraro’s comments.  Ferraro, the Democratic Party’s 1984 vice presidential nominee, has suggested in media interviews and in public appearances that if Barack Obama weren’t black, he wouldn’t be where he is today — leading Clinton in states won and delegates committed for the national convention.

"I’m always troubled by campaigns that do not focus on issues, do not focus on lifting people up and really get to places that I believe are inappropriate," Judge said in reply to the question.  "I would hope that we can get back to where we ought to be, talking about the things that are important to this country and I think we can.  I really believe that Senator Clinton is an honorable person and I think sometimes things get away from us in public life and we have lots of staff doing things that maybe don’t get coordinated very well and I would hope they get some corrections made and I think they will."

Both Judge and Governor Chet Culver did not publicly endorse a candidate before the Caucuses.

"I really went through a head-scratching period of time, as I think many of us do, trying to decide which of the candidates would be the one who would most closely represent my beliefs, my feelings and ideas, plus the one, just unvarnished truth, the one person who can win next November and I made the decision, really, last January, before the Caucus time here, but — again, as I said — we wanted to be sure that we were not influencing people, that things went the way they should and they did.  We had a great turn-out," Judge told reporters this afternoon, before revealing she tried, but failed, to caucus for Obama back on January 3, 2008.

"Well, here’s a funny story, if you want this story.  I decided that I would.  I talked about that situation with the governor." Judge said.  "I said, you know, I’m going to go down because I do claim my legal residence in Monroe County and I vote in Monroe County, so I said, you know governor I’m going to go down to Monroe County for the Caucuses and I know we said we would stay out of this, but I think if I’m down in Monroe County Dave Price and everyone’s not going to go down there with me and I think I probably can, I would really like to be there as a person for Obama.  The governor said fine, do what you want to do, so I went to Albia with that in my mind then being kind of the social person that I am, all of Monroe County except for a few precincts meet in the courthouse.  They were all over in different places in the courthouse and so I signed in that I was there, but then I started going around socializing with all of my folks, all of my friends and neighbors and people in the various precincts and when I got back to my own precinct, my own son who was chairing it, refused to count me because I was not there at the time I was supposed to be there and so I didn’t get counted."

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.