Presidential candidates Governor Steve Bullock and Admiral Joe Sestak and Senatorial candidates Admiral Michael Franken and Eddie Mauro will speak at the Story County Democrats’ fall BBQ fundraiser Sunday, Sept. 22.


Governor Steve Bullock was elected as Attorney General and Governor in Montana and was re-elected Governor as one of the few Democrats to win state-wide election in 2016 in an overwhelmingly red state. Fighting the corrupting influence of money in politics has been one Bullock’s main focuses, both as an Attorney General challenging Citizens United and as a Governor who passed one of strictest disclosure laws in the country.


Admiral Joe Sestak is a 31-year veteran of the U.S. Navy who retired as a three-star admiral and served as Director of Defense Policy for President Bill Clinton’s National Security Council. Admiral Sestak was twice elected to the U.S House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, in 2006 and 2008.


Admiral Michael Franken grew up in Sioux County, in northwest Iowa, and served for 36 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring in 2017 with the rank of three-star admiral. During his service, he was commander of the ground task force in Africa, director of the POW/MIA defense agency tasked with locating remains of missing servicemen, and chief of legislative affairs for the Navy.


Eddie Mauro is a lifelong resident of Des Moines, President of Universal Insurance Group, a former teacher and community volunteer. He is a founding member of A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy (AMOS), a social justice advocacy group. In 2018 he ran for the nomination for U.S. House District 3.


Story County Sheriff Paul Fitzgerald will be the Master of Ceremonies.


The Story County Democrats’ Fall BBQ is an annual event. Food will be provided by Ames’ Cornbred Barbecue, multiple-time winner of the Iowa BBQ Team competition and National Brisket champions. Dinner will include pulled pork, chopped chicken, and beans. Tickets are required for this event and can be purchased in advance at storydems.org or at the door for $35.


“We are delighted to welcome the candidates to Story County and we look forward to another successful fundraiser. Story County Democrats strive to bring as many candidates as possible to our local voters for the type of one-on-one interactions that are unique to Iowa and a crucial part of the Iowa caucus process,” said Story County Democrats Chair, Madalyn Anderson.