Iowa Democratic Party Chair Michael Kiernan announced on Thursday that the 10th annual Hall of Fame Reception and Award Ceremony will honor former Governor Tom Vilsack, former First Lady Christie Vilsack and former Lt. Governor and IDP Chair, Sally Pederson. The event will take place on Saturday, June 27, at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium in Des Moines. Click here to make a reservation to attend.
I was living overseas during the fall of 1998 and had just moved from one country in Europe to another, so I wasn’t following Iowa news closely. I remember filling out my absentee ballot without any hope that this Tom Vilsack, whoever he was, could beat Jim Ross Lightfoot. The last I’d heard, Lightfoot was way ahead in the polls, and no Democrat had been governor of Iowa since before I was born. I was dreading the prospect of the embarrassing Lightfoot becoming governor.
Whatever differences any Democrats had with Governor Vilsack, we can all agree that he ran a terrific campaign in 1998 and demonstrated during the next eight years that a Democrat could govern this state well.
Christie Vilsack’s intellect and compassion are obvious to everyone who’s had any contact with her, and she gained a reputation for being a better campaigner than her husband. She continues her public service, especially in the areas of literacy and preventing unintended pregnancies.
Sally Pederson did a tremendous job as lieutenant governor while raising a special-needs child. She and her husband, Jim Autry, have established a groundbreaking program at the University of Iowa for young adults with disabilities.
If you can, please help the Iowa Democratic Party honor these good people.