Breaking: Senator Bernie Sanders will visit Iowa City on October 5, with a stop at the Johnson County Democrats' fall barbecue.
The visit to the JCDems biggest annual event was confirmed to day by county supervisor Rod Sullivan, a former county party chair who has been working on Sanders to attend for some time.
The event will mark the Vermont senator's third trip to Iowa this year, following a May event in Clinton and a planned September 13-14 trip to Dubuque, Waterloo and Des Moines.
The October trip is yet another sign that Sanders, despite calling his status as an independent socialist, is taking a long hard look at a run in the 2016 Iowa Democratic caucuses. And it's worth noting that the confirmation comes just two days after the announcement that Hillary Clinton will make her first Iowa visit in 6 1/2 years at the Harkin Steak Fry on September 14.
A Johnson County group supporting Sanders, led by `80s era county chair Jeff Cox, has held several recent meetings.
Earlier, Johnson County Democrats had also announced Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow as a guest. Stabenow is not considered a likely presidential candidate but is doing other Iowa events that weekend in support of Bruce Braley.
The barbecue is the county party's traditional fall fundraiser and has hosted many presidential candidates and prominent Democrats in the past, including five presidential candidates in 2007, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Howard Dean in 2003, and Paul Wellstone in 1997, Tickets are $15 for individuals and $30 for families.