September 29, 2022

Company known for attracting political candidates says caucus is going to be very different

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) — An Iowa City restaurant that prides itself on hosting presidential candidates says the Iowa caucus might look a little different after the Democratic National Committee stripped Iowa of its status as the first country.

“Depending on the year, we could get a dozen or more,” said Robert Ehl, general manager of the Hamburg Inn.

The Hamburg Inn has been a candidate’s mainstay since the 1980s, and it shows: adorning the restaurant’s wall, pictures of Republican Ronald Reagan, Democrat Barrack Obama and many more.

“For us, it’s less about business and more about prestige,” Ehl said.

The DNC said the Iowa Democratic Party must reapply for the nation’s first status, with one of the key qualifications being diversity. It was a discussion that Ehl felt needed to happen.

“We’re not exactly a good representative state of what the rest of the country looks like,” Ehl said. “I’m fine with having him here, but it’s a bit awkward that it’s us and not someone else.”

Iowa Republicans have confirmed that Iowa will continue to be the first in the national caucus for the party, meaning Republican candidates could continue to make Hamburg a campaign stop. But, Ehl said it was going to be different in the future.

“We’re used to having a ton of people, and they probably won’t get as much national attention either,” Ehl said.

Democrats in Iowa should know where their first status in the nation is in July.

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