Statewide Iowa — Three Iowa Democrats made a pitch to national party leaders Thursday, arguing the Iowa Democratic Party’s Caucuses should be first in 2024.

National Democrats are hearing applications from 16 states and Puerto Rico seeking to be among the five early voting states in the presidential campaign. Members of the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee have made it clear they’re looking for states with diverse populations. State Representative Ras Smith of Waterloo is a member of the Black Caucus in the Iowa House.

Smith says while Iowa’s overall population is nearly 91 percent white, Iowa is diverse in other ways.

The chairmen of the Iowa Democratic Party AND the Iowa GOP have both been arguing that Iowa inserts geographic diversity in the presidential selection process. Smith says national party leaders need to consider what will be lost if Iowa’s Caucuses aren’t an early proving ground for those who aspire to be president.

Smith made his comments during a recent episode of Iowa Press on Iowa PBS. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn, Democratic National Committee member Scott Brennan of Des Moines and House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst made Iowa’s pitch to the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee Thursday morning. They discussed a big change in the voting process, specifically detailing mail-in balloting rather than a Caucus Night scramble in precinct meetings that involves complicated math to ultimately decide who wins the Democratic Party’s Caucuses. The Republican National Committee has already set its calendar of 2024 presidential contests. The Iowa GOP’s Caucuses, which essentially conduct a straw poll to determine the winner, are first.

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