Georgia Rural Power Hits the Campaign Trail

The Rural Power campaign continues to engage 2016 presidential candidates on the campaign trail. In the past several weeks, Rural Power has spread its reach beyond Iowa and has begun to actively engage campaigns in Georgia, where the primary election is scheduled for March 1st. Our advocates were also some of the few selected to sit in the audience of the CBS News Democratic debate held earlier this month in Des Moines.


2015-11-16 16.29.51Heidi Cruz, the wife of Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), was welcomed by Georgia Rural Power advocates when she toured Georgia last week on behalf of the campaign.

Advocates representing Georgia’s 41 electric co-ops, which bring power to 4.4 million member-owners, discussed with Mrs. Cruz where Sen. Cruz stands on providing affordable and reliable power to all Americans. Mrs. Cruz shared her husband’s vision with our advocates and discussed his priorities on federal regulations that impact the energy industry.



Members of the Rural Power team were on hand at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, for the first broadcast network television debate of the 2016 election cycle, representing the campaign both in the debate hall and at watch parties on campus.
Secretary Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) answered a wide range of questions about how their administration would handle the various issues facing our country, including the role of government regulation.




Before taking the stage at a fundraiser for State Rep. Bobby Kaufmann in Wilton, IA, Republican candidate Ben Carson took time to sit down with several representatives from Eastern Iowa REC. These Rural Power advocates had the opportunity to ask Dr. Carson about his plans for affordable and reliable power and presented him with a questionnaire that Rural Power is asking all candidates to complete so that we can better inform member-consumers across the nation.

Energy Policy Dominates Iowa State Fair Soapbox

With all eyes on the Iowa State Fair, the Rural Power campaign successfully met with nearly all presidential candidates during the ten-day lineup at the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox, where candidates spoke and took questions from caucus-goers. The Rural Power campaign managed to make energy policy a focus of the Soapbox speeches.

Key Highlights:

  • Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) discussed the need to balance sustainability with sound economic decisions, saying, “I want to make sure we have clean land, clean air, clean water. But I also know we need to balance not only a sustainable environment, with a sustainable economy. The two go hand-in-hand.”
  • Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) urged Americans “to embrace the energy revolution in our country to be energy secure, with North American resources, in a short period of time.”
  • Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) stressed Ohio’s energy security, saying, “We found natural gas, and one of the great things about that is it’s allowing us to become energy independent.”
  • Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) discussed his opposition to the Clean Power Plan, saying it will “kill jobs in America and it kills technology and advancement in America. And, what we need to do—this is what we do in New Jersey—I think that each state should be able to do the thing that works best for them.”
  • Gov. Martin O’Malley (D-MD) praised Iowa’s success at installing wind energy, saying, “Here in Iowa, you’re already making it happen. Ten, 15 years ago this wasn’t true, but today it is. 30 percent of Iowa’s electricity comes from clean, Iowa wind.”
  • Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) called for an all-of-the- above energy approach, saying, “We’ve got to have solar, we’ve got to have ethanol, we’ve got to have wind, we have to have oil, we have to have gas, clean coal, we have to have nuclear, we have to have it all and we have to have the EPA out of the way.”
  • Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI) told the audience about his experience securing reliable energy in New England, saying, “We came with a pact to get Canadian hydropower down from way up there in northern Quebec and Labrador, unlimited resources of hydropower, clean, reliable, affordable, just what you’re talking about.”
  • Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) discussed the benefits of affordable electricity by saying, “You heard me talk about manufacturing. That’s the key to getting this country going again. Well, one of the reasons that manufacturing can bloom here in America now is because of cheaper and more affordable energy.”

Up Next: REC Annual Meetings

In the coming weeks, Rural Electric Cooperatives across Iowa will be hosting their annual meetings. Cooperatives have reached out to all presidential campaigns to invite them to speak at these meetings to their highly engaged and politically active member-consumers. Stay tuned for more on this exciting opportunity.

On the Trail

As the candidates continue to hold events in early caucus and primary states, our advocates are on the ground asking them a simple question: What is your plan to ensure an adequate supply of reliable and affordable electricity across America? In the past week, advocates for rural electric cooperatives engaged Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) at campaign trail stops in Guthrie Center and Onawa, Iowa.