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o'malley singing

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley sang Pete Seeger's classic folk song, "Joe Hill," as Ernie Colt, business agent for Sioux City's Carpenters Union Local 948, held up a malfunctioning mic. O'Malley, who unsuccessfully ran to become the Democratic nominee for U.S. President in 2016, was the keynote speaker at the Northwest Iowa Central Labor Council annual Labor Day picnic, held Monday at Riverside Park.

SIOUX CITY --  Despite having a decidedly droopy mic, former Maryland Gov. and Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O'Malley performed a rousing acoustic cover of singer Pete Seeger's "Joe Hill," at the Northwest Iowa Central Labor Council's annual Labor Day Picnic, held Monday at Riverside Park.

In addition to surprising attendees with his spirited singing and guitar-playing, O'Malley spoke about the important role that labor unions had in American history.

dawson, o'malley and kacena

State Rep. Dave Dawson (D-Iowa State House District 14), l, talked politics with former Democratic Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and State Rep. Tim Kacena (D -Iowa House District 17) at the Northwest Iowa Central Labor Council Labor Day picnic Monday.

"The greatness of our country was built on the labor of many," he said. "Not on the fortunes of few."

A candidate for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016, O'Malley was in Iowa to help raise funds for local candidates. He had previously headlined events for J.D. Scholten, who is running against Rep. Steve King (R - Kiron) in Iowa's Fourth Congressional District; and Jackie Smith, who is running against former Iowa State Senator Rick Bertrand for a seat in Iowa District Seven.

O'Malley predicted that many districts will swing towards Democratic candidates because "voters want to put the brakes on crazy."  

o'malley talking

Martin O'Malley, a former Maryland Governor who made an unsuccessful bid to becoming the Democratic nominee for President in 2016, spoke at the Northwest Iowa Central Labor Council, held Monday at Riverside Park.  

Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott said working people will have extra incentive to vote in November.

"With new decisions that takes away collective bargaining negotiating rights, it is becoming more important for people to have their voices heard," he said.  

State Rep. Tim Kacena (D-Iowa House District 14) said it will interesting to see how national politics will impact local races.

"You can't help but think that Donald Trump will cause many Democrats to vote during midterm elections," he said."We'll also see how strong the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party actually is. Are they now representing the mainstream of the party?"

A former paralegal and professional baseball player who is facing longtime U.S. Rep. Steve King, J.D. Scholten said he is enjoying his first run at political office. 

j.d. scholten in picnic line

J.D. Scholten, the Democratic nominee for Iowa's Fourth Congressional District, handed out bags of chips at the Northwest Iowa Central Labor Council Labor Day picnic, held Monday at Riverside Park. The annual picnic historically attracts many candidates seeking political office on a local, state and national level. 

"Participating in events like the Labor Day picnics are fun because it allows me to interact with people from all walks of life," he said, while passing out bags of chips to picnic-goers waiting in line. "I may be serving them Fritos, Lay's and Cheetos today. Hopefully, I'll be serving as their Congressman very soon."

Minutes before he gave his keynote speech, O'Malley said there wouldn't be an American middle class without unions.

"Unions are as important now than ever before," he said. "Right now, employment levels are up, profits are up, but wages are not. Workers deserve better."

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