DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa State Fair has been used for decades as a way for politicians and voters to discuss policy and political action.

The 2022 State Fair may not come before a presidential election, but midterms are this November with plenty of state and federal offices on the line. Candidates are taking the opportunity to speak at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox to share their political goals with voters.

“Half the people in Iowa approaching retirement age have no pension or benefits,” said Iowa State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald, (D). “I think that it is a serious problem and I believe we can do things to help Iowans prepare for retirement without costing us anything.”

Fitzgerald kicked off the soapbox season at the fair, speaking about his long track record of service and what he envisions the office can do for the state in the future.

The fair provides a unique opportunity for politicians and voters. One person enjoys soapbox speeches, as she views it as a way to see how they interact with voters.

“I think it is good that they are here so people can see them in person rather than on TV cause when they are in person there is nobody feeding them lines or something,” said Pam Giles, a voter from Des Moines.

Another voter from the metro said that the fair provides the opportunity to see what type of person they are amongst a crowd. The voter outlined what character qualities he looked for when choosing a candidate.

“I like charisma and personability,” said Bruce Kreuger from Des Moines. “And that is what I want to see from elected officials, I want to be able to see that they are real people and that they are fighting for what people need.”

Other people walking around the fair do not care about how a candidate interacts with people. One person in particular cares soley about the issues.

“The policy, we want somebody that actually tackles the issues that affect everyday Americans now. Like the fuel cost, inflation, that sort of thing,” said Mark Middleton from Omaha, NE.

Candidates will be speaking at the Soapbox throughout the entire duration of the fair.