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Newscast 7.5.2024: Woodbury County Democratic Party supports Biden remaining in race with Trump; More Northwest Iowa counties added to flooding disaster declaration

U.S. President Joe Biden discusses his plan to lower prescription drug costs, at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 15, 2023. (PBS Image)
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U.S. President Joe Biden discusses his plan to lower prescription drug costs, at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada, on March 15, 2023. (PBS Image)

The hierarchy of the Woodbury County Democratic Party is fully supportive of President Joe Biden carrying out his re-election campaign and being the party’s standard bearer.

Many political observers and some Democrats have said Biden should step aside following his low-energy and halting performance in the first presidential debate one week ago on June 27.

The Donald Trump campaign team on Friday put out a release that said Vice President Kamala Harris has been perpetrating a fraud, by covering up the cognitive decline of Biden.

Ryan Akerberg, the communications director of the Woodbury County Democratic Party, told Siouxland Public Media News on Friday that Biden is the right choice for the November election. He said Biden had a lackluster debate performance, but that he is still well versed to serve as president, even if he may need to take more time in speaking.

“As far as the Woodbury County Democrats are concerned, it is settled. Joe Biden is our candidate, until told otherwise. We are comfortable, and excited, actually. You know, again, his track record speaks for itself. He has passed the bipartisan Infrastructure law, you know, he passed the Inflation Reduction Act,” Akerberg said.

A few Democratic members of the U.S. House have sasid Biden should drop out, with the list including Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton and Texas Congressman Lloyd Doggett.

Biden is age 81, while Trump turned 78 in June. Biden was 77 when he was elected in 2020.

Akerberg said Republicans will continue to discuss Biden’s cognitive abilities and his age, but he said that won’t matter once people focus on the legislative record of Biden.

"(Republicans) have no intended purpose other than to scare, bring fear into the public, so they may try to drag it on. I think what the Democrats may do is just put their heads down and get to work, like we’ve always done,” Akerberg said.

Also on Friday, Biden traveled to speak in a Midwest state, with a stop in Madison, Wisconsin, which is one of about seven battleground states that may determine whether Biden or Trump wins the November election.

In other news, Northwest Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra on Friday said a major disaster declaration was approved for three Northwest Iowa counties.

In a release, Feenstra said he got a call from the Department of Homeland Security that a major disaster declaration was approved for Buena Vista, Cherokee, and Woodbury counties, after severe flooding.

“Families, farmers, and businesses impacted by severe flooding will now have access to the disaster relief, resources, and assistance that they need to recover and rebuild,” Feenstra said.

The rising rivers and lakes have created some difficult situations over the last two weeks, with roughly 2,000 homes damaged or destroyed throughout Northwest Iowa by flooding.

The heavy rains of June 21 and 22 resulted in high bacteria levels in the Iowa Great Lakes. Mary Skopec, Executive Director of Lakeside Lab on West Lake Okoboji, now reports that samples of the Iowa Great Lakes show bacteria levels have since dropped considerably, according to Explore Okoboji News.

Another outcome of the heavy rains and flooding is that the bridge connecting North Sioux City with Sioux City fell into the Big Sioux River on June 23.

A large span of the steel bridge partially underwater as floodwaters rushed over it. The bridge is owned by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which is attempting to set some plans to address the bridge.

Railway officials said a contractor is on site to remove the current bridge, and will work with the Army Corps of Engineers on what comes next. However, there is no set timeline for finishing that task.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency opened the two Disaster Recovery Centers in Northwest Iowa, placing those in two towns heavily hit by flooding, in Spencer and Rock Valley.

As recovery continues throughout the region, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jacklet is warning people about buying services sold door-to-door, especially following the flooding.

The Consumer Protection Division offers such tips as not rushing into buying anything, makes sure contractors are licensed to do business in the state, and make payments only after verifying that work is actually completed.