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CLEAR LAKE, IA – Seven Iowa counties come together each year to hold an event that has had quite the guest list.
For the last 10 years it has featured former presidential contenders like John Edwards in 2006 and Barack Obama in 2007.
“The Wing Ding was conceived ten years ago by a core of just two or three counties who just wanted to get together to have an annual political fundraiser and from that little group that decided to have some chicken wings and potato salad for a fundraiser has grown into a seven county consortium,” said Dean Genth with the North Iowa Wing Ding.
This year’s event also has a special presentation of the annual Beacon Award going to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
“It was conceived as an award to recognize an outstanding democrat elected official either nationally or statewide from Iowa who exemplifies the highest ideals and values of the Democratic party,” Genth said.
Sometimes, as is the case this year, the ones who do attend garner most of the attention.
“Who can resist a wing ding when they invite you to speak? I also wanted to help out my friend Bruce Braley, who’s a great Senate candidate and I was really impressed by the number of people turning our so far in front of the election,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, DFL-Minnesota.
And if you ask her, she is not here for anything more than to simply take part in the event.
“I love being the Senator for Minnesota, but I often go and help candidates in other states and as I said I can see Iowa from my porch and it’s very close, two hours, from my house and it was just great to be here,” Klobuchar said.
Others have higher aspirations.
“I’m running for the senate because I love Iowa, I care deeply about the future of Iowa and I know I can be a strong and effective advocate for the people of Iowa,” said U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa.
Either way, organizers just aim to put on a good event and raise some money for the Democratic party.
“The representatives from each of the seven counties meet monthly all year long in making plans and preparations for each year’s particular event,” Genth said.
Also at this year’s event was gubernatorial candidate Tyler Olson. Hundreds attended the fundraiser.