The Democrats’ great rural Iowa hope?

The winding Montgomery County roads from Red Oak to the Norris family farm served as something of a time machine Saturday evening, with both forward and reverse levers available to a politician many Democrats believe can resurrect the party’s fortunes in rural Iowa.

The staging and atmosphere for John Norris’ announcment as a Democratic candidate for governor had the look and feel of an old-fashioned Tom Harkin event, grilled burgers galore and crockpotted dishes and populist rhetoric on land 7 miles southwest of Red Oak and generations deep in the Norris family.

The forward-looking part: Norris’ future-minded platform aimed at re-establishing Democrats as viable and able to connect in land long lost to the Republicans.

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