S.O.L.O. County Bash in Sioux City Journal

The first S.O.L.O. Counties Cabin Fever bash held on Saturday, January 18th was a great success and captured the attention of the Sioux City Journal;

Click here for link to the Sioux City Journal

January 20, 2014 11:55 am  •  Bret Hayworth

HAYWORTH: Outnumbered Northwest Iowa Democrats band together in SOLO

There’s a lot of unfavorable math for Democrats living in Northwest Iowa.

If you go outside Sioux City, there is no Democrat living in the 14 most-northwest counties of the state who serves in the Iowa Legislature. The last Democratic representative from those rural counties was Greg Stevens, of Milford in Dickinson County, who lost when seeking re-election in 2004.

It’s also a huge red area for Republicans when measured in voter registration.

The Siouxland area isn’t going to turn blue, but Democratic leaders in four counties are working together in a new entity to pool resources and draw statewide candidates to Northwest Iowa events. The SOLO group name stands for the Sioux, Osceola, Lyon and O’Brien counties combination.

In those four counties, the GOP voter registration lead is a whopping 86 percent to 14 percent.

Over the weekend, SOLO leaders drew governor candidate Jack Hatch, Iowa 4th congressional district Jim Mowrer and 2016 U.S. Senate candidate Bob Krause to the Cabin Fever Bash in Ashton. O’Brien County Democratic Party Chairwoman Kim Weaver is enthused for the opportunity, as 2016 U.S. Senate candidate  Krause shared on Facebook.

Krause wrote: “These have arguably been some of the toughest counties for Democrats to work over the years. In spite of their small size, the SOLO group today provides big electoral margins for GOP candidates state-wide. Too often statewide Democratic campaigns have written off these counties. BUT NO MORE! By organizing as a four county group, SOLO provides enough local leadership to lift all four counties.

“While some local victories may be hard to come by at first, shaving the GOP margin in these counties is just as important to Democratic victory in November as is building the margin for Democrats in counties like Dubuque or Linn.”

SOLO just joined Twitter on Monday, at the @SOLODemocrats account.

Weaver, a delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, has previously told the Journal about her quest to have Democratic politics become more relevant in Northwest Iowa. Some people might think of Sisyphus rolling a huge boulder uphill, but Weaver, of Sheldon, wants to make an impact.

The math isn’t overly optimistic. In Sioux County, there are 14,483 people with active Republican voter registrations compared to 1,664 Democrats, or 89.7 percent for the GOP. In the other three counties, O’Brien has the best registration totals for Democrats, as they “only” trail Republicans 5,250 to 1,359 (for an 80/20 split), while the GOP leads 5,324 to 880 in Lyon County and 2,511 to 526 in Osceola County.

Democrats (and Republicans) in Iowa have a substantial organizing event on Tuesday, when the off-year caucuses are held.

Participants begin formulating party platforms and issue positions, and elect precinct leaders and delegates to county conventions. Some will go on to represent at district and state conventions and serve on the state central committees.