Deidre DeJear is Iowa's newest political star – even if she has not won an election. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, who is considering a bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination, recently made his inaugural trip to Iowa by headlining a fundraiser for DeJear. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wants to be stumped with DeJear on Sunday. And Sen. Kamala Harris of California, another White House prospect, wants to make her Iowa debut Monday alongside DeJear. Prospective presidential candidates often curry favor with local politicians in the state that holds the nation's first caucus. But even by Iowa standards, this is a lot of high-wattage attention paid to a 32-year-old who's campaigning for secretary of state, typically a low-profile position focused on overseeing elections. The spotlight reflects the excitement surrounding the woman who is the first African American to win. Democrats around the country are standing in a state of peace at a time when voting rules are steadily tightened in states under Republican leadership. 'Any time that they choose to use their spotlight on a little' ol 'secretary of state's race does wonders for our state and that race,' DeJear said in a recent interview. 'Equal access to the ballot box.' Other Democratic women of color ̵
1; notably Stacey Abrams, candidate for governor in Georgia – have captured the national spotlight during this dynamic midterm campaign year. But there's an unmistakable element of political geography fueling. DeJear's rise as Democrats are considering to be one of the best-granted candidates for state of the nation this year. DeJear, who was among the first round of former President Barack Obama ended in August, has raised more than $ 605,000 as of the end of September. In 2014, Republican Secretary of State Paul Pate incumbent, who is seeking re-election, raised $ 242,000 during his entire campaign. Despite the national attention, DeJear is contingent on local politics. Iowa, visiting rural counties well north of the Democratic bastion of Des Moines. It was a long way from Jackson, Mississippi, where DeJear was born and caught the political bug from her grandmother, Mattie Washington. The larger-than-life daughter of a share-cropper became a Democratic leader and county commissioner in Yazoo County, Mississippi, after leaving the farm to attend school. 'I did not volunteer for her race, but she did not pay me as well,' DeJear recalled with a smile. 'But she's 6' 5 'and 220, and no one says' no 'to her.' Two generations later, DeJear to be a new student, visiting Iowa to attend Drake University in Des Moines, after her father's job to Oklahoma. DeJear would later work on Obama's Winning Campaign for the 2008 Iowa caucuses, offering a first at rallying voters and a first taste of rural Iowa. Ten years later, DeJear capped on her own campaign, meeting with Democratic and business leaders – and making plenty of fundraising calls. She spoke with 50 party activists, in a Main Street storefront in tiny Northwood. The farming town of 2,000 is the most populous in Worth County, where Obama won in 2008 and 2012, but which Trump carried in 2016. 'This is the thing that we call voting, it's the fundamental aspect of what our country is about,' DeJear told the group. 'You need an active secretary of state that is going to ensure that people are participating.' De jear is a vocal critic of a law signing in 2017 that requires voters to show identification. Pate championed the bill, enacted by a GOP-controlled state-house last year, and which seeks to maintain the integrity of voting in Iowa, despite scant evidence of voter fraud in the state. The changes disproportionately affect Democratic-leaning parts of the Iowa electorate, including racial minorities. IDEA is already working, Iowa Republican Party spokesman Jesse Dougherty said, responding to Pate's campaign. 'The majority of Iowans support it, and it's now easier to vote and harder to cheat.' After voter ID laws moved forward in GOP-led states in the mid-2000s, the pace accelerated after the 2010 elections, when Republicans swept into Capitol's across the upper Midwest. Iowa following the 2016 election, when Republicans achieved control of the statehouse. DeJear represents a trend this year in battleground states, where younger, emerging candidates are advocating for their states' top election post. Search candidates are on the ballot in Michigan, Ohio and Arizona, where Trump won in 2016, and Colorado and Nevada, where he lost but was competitive. Even in reliably Republican Georgia, where Democrats have flirted with competing in recent presidential elections, moderate Democrat John Barrow has said that ballot access is a necessary part of free and fair elections. But DeJear has sparked something unusual. At the Iowa Democratic Party's recent fall fundraising gala, where the parade of statewide and congressional candidates were introduced, DeJear prompted wild cheers, more raucous than for her rivals. Later during the event, DeJear's Cobalt Blue Dress shows the contrast she presented standing behind her. But this is not a new experience for DeJear, who is among the only black students at Elementary and High Schools in Oklahoma. 'When I came to Iowa, it was less about culture shock and more about weather shock,' she said. 'I'm a Southerner.' Obama is in 2008. "Oh God. Edith Haenel, a retired social worker, said she's a real, go-getter, and seems to be bringing people together.