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Edwards supporters speak up – Pair visits with local residents

By Staff | Dec 7, 2007

ESTHERVILLE–With the Iowa caucuses just under a month away, John Edwards supporters gathered at Mother Nature’s in Estherville Wednesday to voice support for their candidate.

There was also another reason to come. Ben ‘Cooter’ Jones, who played the savvy speed shop mechanic in The Dukes of Hazzard and who served as a Georgia congressman, was on hand along with Edwards’ national campaign manager and former Michigan congressman, David Bonior.

“He’s the one candidate who’s been addressing the issues” of rural America, Jones said. “I think our candidate is coming on strong. The dynamics of this race are changing and the polls are changing.”

While both Jones and Bonior acknowledged themselves as ‘recovering congressmen,’ they also did not hesitate to lend their knowledge of national politics in their endorsement of Edwards’ viability as a contender for the Democratic primary nod.

“We’ve got a great race going on,” Bonior said. “It’s a close race. We’ve got the best candidate I believe on the issues.”

Bonior cited Edwards’ work to help working people and those imprisoned in poverty. Edwards also volunteered to lead an effort to help Hurricane Katrina victims recover from that disaster. In addition, he led the effort to get a minimum-wage increase on the ballot and to help organize workers around the country. “He really has a compassion. He cares about working people,” Bonior said.

Regarding Iraq, said Bonior, “He said he made a mistake when he voted for it. He’s worked his heart out to get us out ever since.”

Bonior said Iowa will benefit directly from Edwards’ plans to ramp up renewable energy development, including ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, wind, and solar energies. “Iowa can be a real contributor to that,” Bonior said.

Regarding education, Bonior said Edwards will get rid of No Child Left Behind and push for development of early childhood education. Bonior cited the Smart Start program in North Carolina as an example of what Edwards could do throughout the nation.

The rest of the meeting, intended as a question-and-answer session, turned more into a plethora of Edwards endorsements.

n “His statistics in debating Chaney in ’04 were right on target. I’m a solid Edwards supporter.”

— Kathy Graves

n “We think he has the best chance of getting into the presidency.”

— Dale Green

n “I’m very impressed with his health program.”

— Merle Johnson

n “I’ve never seen a better slate of candidates to run for the president’s position in my lifetime.”

— Bud Neppl

n “He has the best chance to get Wall Street out of Washington.”

— Sue Morphew

n “I think John is the real deal, guys. I think he’s an honest man and I think he’s going to represent the American people.”

— Larry Morphew

n “He represents anything I need or want.”

— Dorothy Green

Contact Michael Tidemann at (712) 362-2622 or mtidemann@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com