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Warren Campaign Press Release - Iowa Progressive Leader John Norris Endorses Elizabeth Warren

December 20, 2019

West Des Moines, IA—John Norris, a leading progressive voice for rural Iowa and an Iowa Democratic Party stalwart, endorsed Elizabeth Warren for president on Friday.

Norris, of Des Moines, has deep experience in Iowa politics, policy and government—including directing John Kerry's victorious 2004 caucus campaign.

"I'm endorsing Elizabeth for president because she's put the fight for economic and social justice at the core of her candidacy," John Norris said. "We must end the power the wealthy exert over our government and economy, and I have complete confidence that Elizabeth will fight for that every single day as our president."

"When I look at Elizabeth, I see Iowa's great tradition of prairie populism—the bravery to call out the corruption that holds back hard-working people and the vision to offer an alternative," Norris said. "She's calling for the big, structural change we need to ensure opportunity for all—and she can get it done."

Norris ran for Iowa governor in 2018 on a platform of rural and agricultural regeneration.

"His agenda is focused primarily on bringing back good-paying jobs, strong schools and health care to rural communities," the Des Moines Register wrote of his candidacy. "Norris comes by his rural populism naturally and talks about rural values in the context of his upbringing on a farm near Red Oak."

Norris' career in Iowa politics spans four decades, beginning as an aide to then-U.S. Rep. Tom Harkin. He is a past chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party and served as Iowa state director for Jesse Jackson's 1988 presidential campaign, Harkin's 1992 campaign and Kerry's 2004 campaign.

He served as chief of staff to Tom Vilsack during Vilsack's tenures as Iowa governor and U.S. secretary of agriculture. During the Obama administration, he also served on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and as U.S. minister-counselor to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Food Program.

Norris accompanied Elizabeth on an Aug. 9 site visit of the Des Moines River watershed in Humboldt County, where they discussed water quality challenges.

Norris' support comes a week after the Pulitzer Prize-winning Storm Lake Times endorsed Elizabeth in an editorial. In that endorsement, Times editor Art Cullen credited Elizabeth for developing "the most extensive agenda for rural America."

"Warren shows a real feeling for places left behind because she comes from there. ..." Cullen wrote." Elizabeth Warren is fighting on principle like nobody else to give us a chance."

In addition to Cullen, Norris joins the late former Iowa congressman Berkley Bedell, former Iowa state Reps. Mark Kuhn and Kurt Swaim, rural activist Denise O'Brien and community placemaker Zack Mannheimer among rural advocates backing Elizabeth.

Elizabeth Warren, Warren Campaign Press Release - Iowa Progressive Leader John Norris Endorses Elizabeth Warren Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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