Iowa Democrat Lynching Threat

Ross Wilburn, the first Black chair of Iowa’s Democratic Party, has said he received a series of racist messages, including a lynching threat, after writing an opinion piece in a local newspaper criticizing former President Donald Trump and the state Republican officials who stood with him at a recent rally in Des Moines. Wilburn reported the threatening phone and email messages to police. In this June 4, 2020, file photo, Rep. Wilburn, D-Ames, speaks during a news conference outside of the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, Iowa. 

A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Tuesday, November 9, 2021:

HINSON IN LEADERSHIP: Ashley Hinson, a freshman Congresswoman from eastern Iowa’s 1st District, was named co-chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s Young Gun program.

The NRCC is the campaign arm of U.S. House Republicans, and its Young Gun program provides resources to top Republican Congressional candidate recruits. Hinson was named a Young Gun during her 2020 campaign. She is one of four co-chairs for the program.

“Ashley Hinson has made a huge impact in her short time in Congress, and I couldn’t be more excited that she will be leading the charge as a co-chair for the Young Guns program in 2022,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said in a news release. “Together, we’ll help our candidates cross the finish line to victory and win key seats so that we can take back the House in 2022.”

MEETING ON RACE: The Iowa Democratic Party, the Republican Party of Iowa, and the Brown and Black Forums of America announced their leaders met last week to discuss recent racial attacks on IDP state chairman Ross Wilburn.

Wilburn is Iowa’s first Black state party chairman.

“I’m moved by their support following recent threats of violence made against myself and other leaders of color,” Wilburn said in a joint press release from the three organizations. “It is crucial that words of condemnation are not empty gestures and I hope that my Republican colleagues back up their words with clear and decisive actions, like holding members of their party accountable for prejudicial statements and discriminatory actions, as well as educating themselves on the experiences of Black and Brown Americans throughout history.”

Republican Party of Iowa chairman Jeff Kaufman’s statement did not address the attacks on Wilburn, although he issued a statement supporting Wilburn and condemning the attacks at the time they were made public.

“As the chairman of the party of Lincoln, I am proud to stand together with Iowa’s Brown and Black Forums of America co-chairs Wayne Ford and Mary Campos. This organization, led by these tremendous Iowans, is doing the vital and important work of bringing us together, having important conversations, and working to preserve Iowa’s First in the Nation status,” Kaufmann said in his statement.

Ford and Campos issued a joint statement that read, in part, “We want to condemn in the strongest way possible the recent threats against Chair Wilburn. This is just the latest in a long pattern of racist actions against political activists of color in Iowa.”

The party leaders also discussed Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, according to the joint news release.

By Lee-Gazette Des Moines Bureau

Recommended for you

Load comments