DES MOINES, Iowa — A political event got postponed. But it still might be something that Iowans remember for a while. First, there’s the mess. Crews spent Monday tearing down equipment and assessing damage at Des Moines’ Water Works Park.
Former president Donald Trump’s campaign scheduled an event there Saturday. But Trump said that the campaign postponed the event because of the potential for bad weather. Des Moines never experienced a tornado Saturday night. But there were tornadoes southeast in Marion County.
Rain fell Saturday and that left parts of the park muddy, especially in the areas where vehicle tires drove through. Sam Carrell, executive director of the park’s foundation, said that renters sign a contract that requires them to pay for any damages to the property during their event.
Carrell said via email that he expects that the damages will exceed $1,000 but couldn’t provide a more accurate estimate since crews were still evaluating. But he said that he does not expect any issues with getting reimbursed by the campaign. “We are not expecting any issues as they have been responsive throughout the process,” Carrell wrote in the email, “Clearly due to the rain and wet conditions there was more damage than usual when a large event is staged in the park. This will include some rolling, and sodding but we’ve had damages at events in the past and will get everything repaired. We have some time between now and our next large events in June so hope to have the situation fully remedied by then.”
Now, the politics of the weekend. One of Trump’s potential Republican presidential challengers added a Des Moines event Saturday after Trump postponed his. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis spoke before a few dozen people at Jethro’s Barbecue Southside, a restaurant about a mile from where Trump’s event had been scheduled. He praised Iowa’s “beautiful weather,” as well as the work of its Republican governor Kim Reynolds.
DeSantis had already attended events in Sioux Center and Cedar Rapids but took advantage of Trump’s absence by adding the Des Moines stop.