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Troy Price

Troy Price, Democratic Party state chairman, speaks at Borealis Station on Wednesday.

MASON CITY | North Iowa Democrats got together Wednesday to assess Gov. Kim Reynolds' state-of-the-state address — and they were not impressed.

"Local Iowans are standing up in opposition to Gov. Reynolds' devastating policies and misplaced priorities," said Troy Price, state party chairman. He led a discussion involving 10 of the party faithful at Borealis Station on East State Street.

Most of the concerns were about the Republican governor's proposed budget cuts, particularly in education and in Department of Human Services funding.

Mark Suby of Mason City touched on two other issues that concern him: the role of the state in regulating concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and the lack of state action on water quality.

"My question to Kim Reynolds is why do people like us have to pay for the pollution?" he said.

Tracy Smith of Clear Lake said corporate farmers and other big companies often skirt the law. "It's cheaper to pay a fine than to do it right the first time," she said.

Mary Beth Greenan said, "We need to have a strong agenda and strong candidates, beginning with the governor."

Price said Democrats are planning to hold meetings across the state, like the one Wednesday in Mason City, to share their stories and set priorities. The meeting was held the same day Reynolds visited Mason City. 

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