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A roundup of campaign news items of interest for Wednesday, September 11, 2019:

NEW NAME FOR DEMOCRATS’ EVENT: The “Liberty and Justice Celebration” is the new name of the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraiser.

For years the event had been called the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in honor of the third and seventh presidents. But that name was dropped in 2015 because those men also were slave owners. Through 2018, the event was called the “Fall Gala.”

The party convened a committee to research and propose a new name, and the state central committee approved the new name unanimously.

This year’s event is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 1, at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines. It is expected to draw most of the Democratic presidential candidates.

“Iowa Democrats have worked tirelessly to put us on the path to victory in 2020, and this celebration will demonstrate just how far our party has come,” state party chairman Troy Price said in a statement. “This event has always been about showcasing the strength of our grassroots connections, honoring our values, and investing in the future of our party. ‘Liberty and Justice’ reflect the pillars of our party’s values and priorities as we continue to build relationships and engage voters to elect Democratic leaders in 2020.”

CANDIDATES RESPOND TO INTERFAITH ALLIANCE QUESTIONS: Ten Democratic presidential candidates responded to a questionnaire on issues of faith and religion from the Iowa Interfaith Alliance, a liberal-leaning organization of Iowa religious leaders, the group said.

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The full set of answers can be viewed at the organization’s website at interfaithallianceiowa.org/faithanddemocracy.

“Having a robust public dialogue about religious freedom and the intersection of religion and public policy is an important part of the vetting of any field of candidates for public office and, in particular, presidential candidates,” Connie Ryan, executive director of Interfaith Alliance of Iowa & Action Fund, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that the presidential candidates are addressing these issues at the center of religion and politics --- all important issues that matter to Iowans and our nation.”

BULLOCK CAMPAIGN EXPLAINS PERCEIVED PATH: Steve Bullock will be seen by Democrats as a candidate who can defeat incumbent President Donald Trump, and one who is not promising a revolution. That’s how the Bullock campaign sees the low-polling candidate’s path to victory, according to a memo from campaign manager Jennifer Ridder to Bullock supporters that was released to the media.

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The memo also says Bullock can compete in the Iowa caucuses by building out campaign staff and highlighting the expansive field’s only endorsement from a statewide Democratic elected official: state attorney general Tom Miller.

The memo also highlights that Bullock is the only governor remaining in the race, and that he was elected governor in Montana, a red state won by Trump.

It also shrugs off early polling on the Democratic primary, sarcastically noting previous years’ early polling that, at various points, showed candidates like Howard Dean, Rudy Giuliana and Ben Carson leading their respective races.

Lee-Gazette Des Moines Bureau

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