Former Vice President Mike Pence campaigns in Fort Madison

Published: Aug. 31, 2023 at 10:36 PM CDT
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FORT MADISON (WGEM) - Lee County, Iowa voters found themselves face-to-face with a GOP presidential candidate, Thursday evening at the Kingsley Inn.

Former Vice President Mike Pence held a town hall along the Mississippi River in Fort Madison.

The country is just four-and-a-half months away from the Iowa caucuses.

The Hawkeye state plays a critical role in shaping the presidential election, because it holds the first major contest in the country in the race for the White House.

“People need to be getting out and researching candidates,” State Representative Martin Graber said.

Graber represents southeast Iowa in the statehouse.

He said he first heard about Pence’s planned visit about a week ago.

Graber said Lee County flipped red in the 2016 presidential race when former President Donald Trump was elected.

The county voted democrat for many years before that.

“What I hope people get from the former vice president’s visit is, realize that Lee County is important to Iowa politics and that we do have a say in what happens,” Graber said.

Lee County has experienced the loss of jobs and companies in recent years.

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Pence said Lee County is not alone.

“I spoke with some local pastors today,” Pence said. “I heard that one of the local relief organizations has seen a 30% increase in requests for support over the last 18 months. All while Joe Biden tells us that Biden-omics is working. The American people know better.”

Republican State Senator Jeff Reichman, also from Ft. Madison, turned out to the Kingsley Inn Thursday night to hear Pence speak.

He said the future of the country depends on the next presidential race.

“We’ve lost so much in the past three years under this administration,” Reichman said. “We need to get that back.”

The race for the White House is a crowded one right now.

There are 13 republicans and three democrats currently campaigning for the seat. Former President Donald Trump is now leading that GOP presidential race, according to several polls across the country.

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