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.
At a hot and sun-drenched campaign picnic in Urbandale at Living History Farms, John Norris drew a sizable crowd to his gubernatorial kick-off tour. With about 200 people in attendance, Norris’ event was the largest yet of the Democratic Terrace Hill hopefuls, as well as the most bountiful: a pot luck style meal filled the park tables. Norris himself joined a band on stage before his speech to belt out some lines from a Johnny Cash song.