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Former Iowa governor: Take rural voters seriously

Ex-USDA secretary helped 2020 Democrats shape their rural policies

Livestock in the agriculture building at the Iowa State Fair. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call).

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack helped devise a handful of Democratic presidential candidates’ rural platforms, including those of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden, as part of his effort to boost Democrats’ appeal to rural voters.

The former Agriculture secretary sat down with CQ Roll Call during the Iowa State Fair to discuss why Republicans have had an edge over Democrats in rural areas, and how his party is working to connect with rural voters in Iowa and across the country.

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