Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine shakes hands with a patron inside The Mill on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Kaine made an impromptu stop in Iowa City to greet voters before the Nov. 8 election. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)
Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine shakes hands with a patron inside The Mill on Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Kaine made an impromptu stop in Iowa City to greet voters before the Nov. 8 election. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Clinton veep Kaine and Iowa Rep. Loebsack make surprise Iowa City stop

By Matthew Jack | matthewmjack@gmail.com

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine and Iowa 2nd District Rep. Dave Loebsack made an unexpected campaign stop to Iowa City on Wednesday, after a rally scheduled that day in Des Moines was canceled due to the shooting of two Iowa police officers.

Earlier that day, 46-year-old Urbandale resident Scott Michael Greene gunned down Des Moines police Sgt. Anthony Beminio and Urbandale Officer Justin Martin in their squad cars before turning himself in to a Department of Natural Resources officer.

Officer Martin died on the scene and Sgt. Beminio died after being transported to Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

RELATED: Clinton surrogate rally canceled after shooting of Iowa police officers

The two Congressmen made a brief stop to shake hands with patrons at The Java House, a coffee shop and venue for local bands.

Nova Neurice, an Iowa City resident who was studying at The Java House when Kaine arrived, said she is not yet old enough to vote so she volunteered for Clinton’s campaign instead.

Neurice cited Clinton’s student-loan reform plan as a major reason she won her support, as well as the vacant United States Supreme Court seat.

“That could affect us for decades to come,” Neurice said.

RELATED: Don’t stop with the president

Afterwards, Kaine walked to a local pub and music venue, The Mill, to greet diners and baseball fans who had come out to watch Game 7 of the World Series.

Sonja Grujic, a Chicago resident who met friends at The Mill to cheer on the Cubs, said she was “a little shocked because the last time we were all together here was to see Donald Trump.”

Her friend, Seka, from Burr Ridge, Illinois, cheered ‘Go Trump’ as Kaine left the pub.

Jeanne Berndt, an Iowa City native, was among the first at The Mill to shake hands with Kaine, and was joined by her husband, her sister Carole, and their friend Otto Kohn.

“I told him I already voted for him,” Berndt said, “we’ve all voted for Hillary.”

Sohn—who is a German citizen—could not vote, but said he was confident Kaine would be the next vice president.

“His visit here, usually where young people are around, will help him and Hillary win Iowa,” Sohn said

The Clinton ticket is trailing in Iowa but has narrowed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lead to 1.4 percentage points, according to the RealClearPolitics state average on Wednesday.

RELATED: Kaine in Dubuque touts Clinton’s experience, says ‘Trump’s passion is about himself’

The unannounced meet-and-greets were the final stops in an Iowa circuit for Clinton surrogates on Wednesday.

Kaine held a rally in Dubuque to promote his running mate’s experience and economic policy, and former President Bill Clinton encouraged Iowans to vote early in Sioux City and Waterloo that afternoon.

Kaine was scheduled to join President Clinton in Des Moines in a get-out-the-vote rally featuring Grammy Award-winning musician Ben Harper Wednesday evening.

As Kaine left The Mill, a patron asked, “Senator Kaine, can we get a ‘Go Cubs?'”

“Go Cubs,” Kaine laughed.

Follow Matthew Jack (@matthewmjack) on Twitter for ongoing coverage of the 2016 election in Iowa.

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