By Carol Worley and Rachel Worley
Last weekend, we drove to Iowa to help our Republican neighbors up north to campaign for Joni Ernst, Terry Branstad, Rod Blum and other candidates for midterm elections. Our ten-hour drive from Tulsa seemed to drag on, but Waterloo finally appeared! As we began piling out of the car to meet the Patriot Voices volunteers at the hotel, the three friends who traveled with us probably thought we were crazy to be actually doing this. But we could feel the excitement of volunteering with others to make this last push for such an important state in the midterms.
Saturday started with a team meeting at 8 am to review the plan for the day with the other Patriot Voices members. We were new to this group, but they welcomed us with open arms, something we’ll never forget. We met people just like us, conservative, passionate, everyday people from all over the U.S. – Georgia, New York, Michigan, Arizona, Arkansas, Texas, Indiana, and Ohio -- who had no other agenda except to help Iowa Republicans win. It was cold, freezing in fact. Eighteen degrees when we checked the weather that morning, but at least there was no snow!
We bundled up with our Patriot Voices sweatshirts on and headed out into rural Iowa to encourage the Republican voters to vote in the mid-term elections.
Going from farm to farm, door to door, we were disappointed that we weren’t finding as many people home as we thought we would on a Saturday morning. Then we ran across the large tractors and heavy equipment on the roads and realized that the farmers were in the fields that day, harvesting the corn before winter. Those we were able to meet up with said they had already voted or would vote on Tuesday. The Iowans were very kind and some gladly put up the Joni Ernst or Governor Branstad yard signs that we brought along.
After our lists were completed and we talked and laughed our way back to Waterloo with Patti, the Iowa chair of Patriot Voices, we met at the Victory office with the other Patriot Voices volunteers. It had been a long day, but once again the same volunteers from earlier that morning were cheerful and relaxed, waiting to meet Senator Rick Santorum who would arrive there shortly. Although we had campaigned for him in Oklahoma for the 2012 election, we had never met him. It was a great experience to meet the Senator and shake his hand. Once again, we heard his common sense ideas for this country and realized he is a uniter, not a divider. He’s about solutions, getting Americans back to work, and protecting our rights. At the Pizza Ranch in Cedar Falls, our group ate dinner with him as he explained about the movies he’s been working on and the book that he and Karen are writing together. Eating pizza with these new friends seemed like the most natural thing in the world after our beautiful day in Iowa.
As we watched the election returns on Tuesday, we couldn’t help but feel that somehow we had made a difference to turn Iowa into crimson red that night with all their Republican wins. The boots on the ground had worked!