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Billboard for de Blasio

New York residents paid for a billboard along First Avenue in downtown Cedar Rapids calling for their mayor, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Bill de Blasio, to spend less time in Iowa and more time in the city he leads.

Hoping to get their mayor’s attention, New York City residents have bought billboard space in Iowa at 411 First Ave. S.E. in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Featuring a picture of de Blasio, the billboard reads: “Hey, Bill de Blasio! It’s New York ... Remember Us?”

In addition to a reminder that he’s polling at less than 1%, the message continues: “What are you doing in Iowa? Come back to New York and meet with us.”

What de Blasio has been doing in Iowa is campaigning for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

He’s had more than a dozen campaign events in Iowa this year, the last in Cedar Rapids on June 9 for the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration that featured multiple candidates.

The billboard is the first one the W. 58th Street Coalition has put up in Iowa. The coalition did not specify how many billboards there will be, but said it will spend $100,000 on them.

“We never thought we would have to go to the farms and cornfields of Iowa to get a meeting with the mayor of New York City,” a spokesman said.

“De Blasio should hop on a tractor and come back to home because the residents have some words for him, his presidential bid, and continued neglect for this great city.”

The association wants to meet with de Blasio about its concerns for the city’s strategy for dealing with homelessness as well as other issues.

Harris plans bus tour

Presidential candidate Kamala Harris is planning a five-day trip through Iowa starting Thursday in Sioux City, according to her campaign.

The senator from California intends to meet with potential caucusgoers to talk about her “3 a.m. agenda,” which includes issues of housing costs, equal pay for women and student debt.

After visiting Storm Lake, Fort Dodge, Clear Lake, the Des Moines area and Lacona, she is expected to arrive in eastern Iowa on Aug. 11 to host a rally at 6:50 p.m. in Central Park in Mount Pleasant.

On Aug. 12, she will host another rally in Davenport, location to be announced, starting at 4:05 p.m.

State fair straw poll

Iowans visiting the state fair will be able to cast votes for their preferred candidate in the presidential, U.S. Senate and U.S. House races.

According to Secretary of State Paul Pate, the poll will be conducted on iPads at the Secretary of State’s Office booth inside the Varied Industries Building throughout the Iowa State Fair, which runs Thursday-Aug. 18.

Fairgoers can choose between 25 Democrats and two Republicans in the presidential straw poll. Results will be broken down by party. All fairgoers, as well as the candidates and campaigns, are invited to visit the booth and cast a vote.

Real-time results will be available on the tablets in the Secretary of State’s Office booth and online at sos.iowa.gov. The straw poll is unscientific and intended for entertainment purposes only.

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