Wing Ding speaker: Voters ‘hungry for Democrats who stand up and fight’ | Government and politics

Erin Murphy

DES MOINES — Mallory McMorrow says she “vividly” remembers Zach Wahls’ 2011 speech on the floor of the Iowa House in defense of same-sex marriage.

Then a lawyer with two mothers and now a Democratic senator from Coralville, Wahls in that 2011 speech spoke out against a Republican proposal to ban same-sex marriage in Iowa.

McMorrow says she remembers watching Wahls’ speech and thinking, “How cool to see a youngster stand up very publicly and speak as eloquently and forcefully as he did.”

McMorrow might as well describe the reaction of other Democrats to her own viral remarks earlier this year – she raised more than $1 million as a result of her speech – which is why she will speak this week in Iowa at a party fundraiser.

McMorrow, a Democratic state senator from Royal Oak, Michigan, became a rising star in the Democratic Party after her viral response in the Michigan Senate earlier this year to accusations that she was “grooming” children. She has been invited and will deliver the keynote address Friday night at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.

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The Wing Ding is the annual fundraiser for Democratic Party organizations in seven northern Iowa counties.

“It’s so deflating to a lot of Democrats right now. And it sounds super cheesy, but if we can do pep talks all over the country and get Democrats excited, I’d love to do it,” McMorrow said Monday. during a telephone interview.

Whether deflated or not, Iowa Democrats are at the very least in for election funk. In the past three election cycles, Iowa Republicans have taken full control of the state’s legislative process by winning the governorship and majorities in both houses of the Iowa Legislature, and claimed five of the six spots on the state’s congressional delegation.

And Republicans in Iowa have even higher sights for this fall: They believe they have the opportunity to win a full sweep of the congressional delegation and not just maintain but extend their grip on the offices of the state by winning campaigns for attorney general and state treasurer, who have been held by Democrats for decades.

McMorrow said his message would be one that Democrats could deliver to voters, even in states like Iowa. She said she represents a conservative-leaning Michigan Senate district that includes the hometown of Republican U.S. senator and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“We have to get past the idea that just because someone says it’s a red state doesn’t mean it’s a red state. The people are there. We just have to find them and connect with them,” McMorrow said. “The response I’ve had over the past three months, I think, shows that people are hungry for Democrats (who are) on their feet and fighting back and feeling like they’re doing it. And we have every right to do it and to do it in places where you don’t expect it.

The Iowa Democratic Wing’s Ding is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday. Tickets can be purchased at

The Iowa Republican Party declined to comment for this article.

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