DES MOINES, Iowa — The inaugural Iowa legislative bipartisan slow-pitch softball game was Sunday evening at Principal Park between House and Senate Republicans and Democrats.
The seven-inning game took place after the Iowa Cubs game at 1 p.m., with Governor Reynolds throwing out the first pitch. Lawmakers used the game as a way of raising money for two charities.
“The Puppy Jake Foundation which the Republicans chose, wonderful foundation, and obviously the Food Bank of Iowa. I couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of this,” said State Representative Kenan Judge, (D) from Waukee.
More than $30,000 total was raised for both charities and it was split between the two. Lawmakers enjoyed the opportunity to raise money for meaningful causes but also show Iowans that they are friends with their political party counterparts.
“It’ll be kind of fun, we are going to have fun today,” said State Senator Brad Zaun, (R) from Urbandale. “Democrats and Republicans, you know, people don’t realize that we are friends this is going to be fun and raise some money for charities.”
There was no shortage of action in the game, with the total amount of hits close to 60 in just seven innings. It was back and forth the entire time with both teams scoring runs at will.
The game was tied up 16 to 16 in the top of the 7th, but the Republican team went on a rally to score 11 runs to seal the deal.
“Final score doesn’t represent the competitiveness of the game, we were there until the very end,” said State Representative Jennifer Konfrst, (D) from Windsor Heights. “Got the emergency rule, which is obviously little league humiliation, but we let them have it because it was really important for them to win.”
Representative Konfrst, the House Minority leader, was one of the announcers for the entire game. Democrat Senator Zach Wahls, Senate Minority leader, played first base for the blue team. Speaker of the House Pat Grassley was the manager for the red squad, with Senate Majority leader Jack Whitver assisting with those duties. But Whitver said he had to step in when the game was close in the last couple of innings.
“It was a big win for Republicans but more importantly it was a fun time, and we raised a lot of good money for charity so overall a very successful day,” said State Senator Jack Whitver, (R) from Ankeny.
He also commented on the end of the session and when lawmakers will officially adjourn for the year.
“We are not really sure yet the reality is that it is only two days left of real work left in session,” said Whitver. “When those two days occur I am not sure it could be this week it could be in two or three weeks we just aren’t really sure.”