By Matthew Jack
Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Iowa 2nd District Rep. Dave Loebsack made an unexpected campaign stop in Iowa City on Wednesday after a rally scheduled that day in Des Moines was canceled because of the shooting of two Iowa police officers.
Earlier Wednesday, 46-year-old Urbandale resident Scott Michael Greene allegedly gunned down Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin in their squad cars before turning himself in to a Department of Natural Resources officer.
Martin died on the scene and Beminio died after being transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
In Iowa City, the two Democrats made a brief stop to shake hands with patrons at the Java House, 211 E. Washington St.
Nova Neurice, an Iowa City resident who was studying at Java House when Kaine arrived, said she is not yet old enough to vote so she volunteered for Clinton’s campaign instead.
Neurice cited Clinton’s student-loan reform plan as a major reason she won her support, as well as the vacant United States Supreme Court seat.
“That could affect us for decades to come,” Neurice said.
Afterwards, Kaine walked to the Mill, 120 E. Burlington St., to greet diners and baseball fans who had come out to watch Game 7 of the World Series.
Sonja Grujic, a Chicago resident who met friends at the Mill to cheer on the Cubs, said she was “a little shocked because the last time we were all together here was to see Donald Trump.”
Her friend, Seka, from Burr Ridge, Illinois, cheered “Go Trump” as Kaine left the pub.
Jeanne Berndt, an Iowa City native, was among the first at the Mill to shake hands with Kaine, and shewas joined by her husband, her sister Carole, and their friend Otto Sohn.
“I told him I already voted for him,” Berndt said. “We’ve all voted for Hillary.”
Sohn — who is a German citizen — cannot vote but said he was confident Kaine would be the next vice president.
“His visit here, usually where young people are around, will help him and Hillary win Iowa,” Sohn said
The Clinton ticket is trailing in Iowa but has narrowed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lead to 1.4 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics state average on Wednesday.
The unannounced meet-and-greets were the final stops in an Iowa circuit for Clinton surrogates on Wednesday.
Kaine held a rally in Dubuque to promote his running mate’s experience and economic policy, and former President Bill Clinton encouraged Iowans to vote early in Sioux City and Waterloo that afternoon.
Kaine was scheduled to join President Clinton in Des Moines in a get-out-the-vote rally featuring Grammy Award-winning musician Ben Harper Wednesday evening.
As Kaine left the Mill, a patron asked, “Sen. Kaine, can we get a ‘Go Cubs?’ ”
“Go Cubs,” Kaine said and laughed.