Teaming up for caucus, election coverage

Kim Brooks
Babbling Brooks Column
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

By the time you read my column this week Iowa will feel a lot lighter. Let me explain… 

The caucuses are over as of Monday, Feb. 3. That means every presidential candidate, surrogate, candidate’s significant other, and member of the national media have left our great state, on to New Hampshire for their primary on Feb. 11. 

This is an important time in Iowa’s history of the first-in-the-nation caucuses. Every four years when the circus comes to town, so to speak, the economy in Iowa grows. The group of people mentioned above stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, buy fuel, and shop local (Raygun certainly makes a name for itself during an election year.). Every day when the national reporters give live updates from across Iowa, our state reminds people yet again how important we are in the pick for president. 

As a hometown newspaper reporter, it’s been fun for me, too, I have to admit. Since the caucus season began the Express has covered local visits by Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, and Andrew Yang (He was in Monticello twice.). Biden was in Jones County twice; once for an unannounced stop at The Cone Shoppe, and again for a campaign stop in Anamosa. 

Sometimes the candidates make last minute stops, and to be honest, we’re not just sitting around the office waiting for candidates to swing through Jones County. We do have busy schedules during work and lives outside of work. 

So our coverage of the presidential candidates was not my job alone. Our Sports Editor and Associate Editor Pete Temple was great help as well. 

When Biden was in Anamosa, I knew it was going to be a big feat, so I asked Pete if he wouldn’t mind assisting. His photography skills can’t be matched. 

Last Friday, Yang swung through Monticello for his second visit. I had a previously scheduled conflict in Anamosa the exact same time: a legislative forum. So Pete stepped in to take some photos of Yang’s stop. 

Then on Saturday, Buttigieg was in Anamosa for a last-ditch effort before the Monday caucuses. I had a family obligation, so Pete covered Pete (Buttigieg, that is). 

And now we’re partnering up again to cover the caucuses on Monday night. 

Four years ago, I covered the Democratic Caucuses while Pete went to the Republican site in Monticello. Now, we’re switching parties for a different perspective. 

It’s been a busy caucus/election season, and I have no doubt the candidates and media will return as the June 2 Primary Election comes around.


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