DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa’s state lawmakers are still unwinding after a long and intense legislative session. Republicans and Democrats tried to find some common ground Sunday with a friendly game of softball.
The Iowa Legislative Slow-Pitch Softball Game returned to Principal Park for its second year. Just like the inaugural contest, it featured Republicans and Democrats competing against each other after an Iowa Cubs game.
Rep. Sami Scheetz, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, and Rep. Carter Nordman, a Republican from Panora, led the bi-partisan effort to organize this year’s game. They both said the planning did not leave much room for practice.
“We had our first practice yesterday,” Nordman said. “I think the Democrats had their first practice today.”
“Some of us might be exposed today, including me,” Scheetz said before the game.
Scheetz and Nordman said the trophy is not as important as connecting with lawmakers on the other team.
“It’s really hard sometimes to build those meaningful political relationships with the other side,” Scheetz said. “I think this provides a really good opportunity.”
“We are all Iowans, and at the end of the day, that’s what’s important,” Nordman said. “We all want what’s best for this state. Doing something like this, coming together as Republican and Democrat, it shows it doesn’t matter about your party. It just matters about being Iowans.”
The Democratic Party won the contest 10 to 6. Rep. JD Scholten, a former professional baseball player who now represents Sioux City in the statehouse, led off the game with a home run for the Democrats.
The event ended with twin donations of $25,000 to the Food Bank of Iowa and the Puppy Jake Foundation.