Beto O'Rourke visits Mason City in quest for Democratic nomination

"We have a country that is as divided as I can remember it in my lifetime."

Posted: May 9, 2019 7:15 PM
Updated: May 9, 2019 7:19 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa- Wednesday afternoon found an enthusiastic crowd gathered at Fathill Brewery in Mason City. They came from across the region in hopes of meeting Beto O'Rourke, one of 21 Democratic candidates for President.

Those who filled the popular brewery were treated to an unusually candid give and take with the candidate. O'Rourke is the rare politico who moves seamlessly away from "talking points" and clearly listens to questioners. Throughout the more than hour-long event, O'Rourke spent no small amount of time simply standing and nodding his head as Iowans posed questions. After the event, the former Texas congressman told KIMT News 3 his candidacy is based on the notion of bringing America together.

"We have a country that is as divided as I can remember it in my lifetime," the seemingly youthful 46-year-old said as he sat calmly in the brewery portion of the venue. "And yet we have the greatest challenges before us. Millions who can't see a doctor or afford their medication. Teachers who are forced to work two or three jobs because we're not paying them enough in the most important job that they have."

O'Rourke is adamant that to meet those challenges and many others that he outlined, America can't afford to remain divided along party lines.  "The best way to do that is to bring us all together," the Texan said firmly. "The people of this country are going to have a very clear choice; someone who is in power today who seeks to make us afraid and keep us apart and make us angry at one another, or someone who calls us to a common ambition and aspiration, for us to be the best country that we can possibly be, not as Democrats, not as Republicans not as Independents, but as Americans first."

Those themes were evident in the conversations O'Rourke had with those in attendance and his enthusiasm resonated with them.

Anna Jones, a Democrat and union activist said she was impressed by the candidate. "I liked him," she said without hesitation. "He's able to answer these questions, very upfront and very direct. I didn't feel like he was giving me a lot of lip service."

O'Rourke had a big impact on the political leanings of Democrat Dustin Menke. "I'm a die hard Bernie Sanders supporter, but now it's really going to be a toss up."

Menke's position speaks to the ability of O'Rourke to overcome the biggest challenge of his candidacy. He must figure out a way to separate himself from at least twenty fellow Democratic candidates.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 485655

Reported Deaths: 6558
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1007641586
Ramsey43106801
Dakota36297390
Anoka33293385
Washington22078256
Stearns18734201
St. Louis14805262
Scott13290107
Wright12526115
Olmsted1178988
Sherburne872872
Carver772640
Clay691587
Rice670491
Blue Earth594735
Kandiyohi579574
Crow Wing520681
Chisago499045
Otter Tail482170
Benton446490
Winona418349
Mower404731
Douglas392668
Nobles387047
Goodhue385768
Polk343162
McLeod339349
Beltrami337951
Morrison324547
Itasca313046
Lyon313044
Becker311342
Isanti306154
Steele300411
Carlton300149
Pine282016
Freeborn280723
Nicollet258641
Todd248030
Brown245037
Le Sueur235320
Mille Lacs227447
Cass220024
Waseca208717
Meeker207434
Martin189528
Wabasha18653
Roseau180217
Hubbard160640
Houston157314
Dodge15224
Renville149640
Redwood147027
Fillmore13728
Chippewa136335
Cottonwood134820
Pennington134416
Wadena130920
Faribault123017
Aitkin118833
Sibley117310
Watonwan11738
Rock115714
Kanabec107519
Pipestone101424
Yellow Medicine97617
Murray9448
Jackson93510
Swift87918
Pope8045
Marshall77815
Stevens7418
Lake74018
Clearwater71914
Lac qui Parle68416
Wilkin67110
Koochiching61811
Big Stone5163
Lincoln5062
Grant4918
Norman4788
Unassigned46768
Mahnomen4417
Kittson40921
Red Lake3625
Traverse3055
Lake of the Woods2191
Cook1180

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362827

Reported Deaths: 5440
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58260551
Linn20670313
Scott18318210
Black Hawk16258292
Woodbury14979211
Johnson1384874
Dubuque13562194
Dallas1138690
Pottawattamie10791143
Story1024945
Warren556674
Clinton543784
Cerro Gordo533782
Webster519587
Marshall497272
Sioux494869
Buena Vista474537
Des Moines458861
Muscatine452291
Wapello4345108
Jasper417766
Plymouth395378
Lee375452
Marion359169
Jones294154
Henry293337
Carroll286249
Bremer280854
Crawford275135
Boone259730
Washington254347
Benton253854
Mahaska224746
Jackson221638
Dickinson217840
Tama213765
Kossuth208555
Clay193625
Hamilton192142
Delaware189140
Winneshiek189127
Buchanan185729
Fayette185235
Page183319
Hardin181439
Wright179931
Harrison179469
Cedar178523
Clayton168154
Butler167231
Mills163020
Floyd162741
Cherokee154836
Madison154718
Poweshiek154330
Hancock147130
Allamakee146747
Lyon145941
Iowa145023
Appanoose139247
Grundy139230
Jefferson138734
Winnebago138631
Cass134751
Calhoun133811
Mitchell130940
Louisa128241
Union126631
Chickasaw125215
Sac124618
Emmet121740
Shelby121733
Franklin118319
Humboldt117925
Guthrie116628
Palo Alto105221
Montgomery104136
Howard102921
Clarke100420
Unassigned9900
Keokuk98229
Monroe93328
Adair92128
Ida91432
Pocahontas85419
Davis83123
Monona81627
Greene77510
Lucas74021
Osceola70615
Worth6997
Taylor66612
Fremont5909
Decatur5829
Van Buren56118
Ringgold52320
Wayne48921
Audubon4889
Adams3274
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