US Senate candidate “coming out” party

Iowa Democratic Party officials say it’s a “first” for the IDP.  The party plans an “after-party” following the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner on Saturday, November 21 event which will feature Vice President Joe Biden as keynote speaker.  This will be the event where IDP chairman Michael Kiernan’s “first-round draft pick” will emerge as a challenger for Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.  Grassley will be seeking a sixth term in 2010 and two eastern Iowans have announced they’re running.  Roxanne Conlin said recently she is likely to join the race, the long-rumored “first-round draft pick” Kiernan mentioned in September.

Read the IDP’s news release below:

U.S. Senate Candidates to be featured at first-ever JJ after-party

DES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Democratic Party’s 2009 Jefferson Jackson Dinner will feature the debut of a new event – a Victory 2010 after-party highlighting the party’s outstanding candidates for U.S. Senate, Iowa Democratic Party chairman Michael Kiernan announced Tuesday.

“We have an excellent chance to defeat Sen. Chuck Grassley next year and great candidates competing for the chance to be the party’s Senate nominee,” Kiernan said. “We want to recognize and support our announced candidates and have some fun at the same time.”

This will be a less-formal get-together of Iowa Democrats at a site adjacent to the dinner, Kiernan said.

The Victory 2010 event will be held at Hy-Vee Hall at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines at 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 21.  Vice President Joe Biden is the featured speaker at the dinner.  The Jefferson Jackson Dinner is traditionally the largest annual gathering of Iowa Democrats.

Ticketing and event information can be found at or by phone at (515) 244-7292.  Tickets for the Victory 2010 after-party event are included with dinner tickets, but are also available separately.  (Vice President Biden will not be in attendance at the Victory 2010 event.)

UPDATE:  Despite all the chatter you’ve heard behind the scenes about the JJ Dinner being a “coming out” party for the “first-round draft pick” candidate to face off against Chuck Grassley, the IDP’s Norm Sterzenbach emailed the following at 7:07 p.m. tonight:

That is not what the release said. Kiernan said we would highlight our candidates, plural. Currently there are 2 announced candidates, if there are more by then, then they will get to speak as well. This is NOT a coming out party for the “mystery candidate”

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About O.Kay Henderson

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