Dave Helman to receive party honor
Rural Salem resident Dave Helman will become a Hall of Famer Saturday.
Helman recently retired as Henry County Democratic Party chairman, an office he has had since 2004. On Saturday, he will be inducted into the Second District Democrats’ Hall of Fame, receiving recognition as outstanding county chair by the Second District Democrats Central Committee.
Twenty-four eastern Iowa counties comprise the Second District, which shares the same boundaries as the congressional district represented by Dave Loebsack.
Helman said he was “kind of surprised” when learning of the honor. “We are a small county and if you look at our registration totals, it is not that exciting.”
The Hall of Fame Awards Program is an annual recognition, the award which Helman will receive is in appreciation of his outstanding service as county chairman. He will receive his award at the Hall of Fame dinner in Ottumwa Saturday.
Alan Bohanan, Second District Democratic chair, noted Helman’s energetic approach to his duties. “Dave has been an energetic and important contributor to the party during his tenure as Henry County chair at the county, state and even national level.
“He hosted the district convention in 2006 and has organized and moderated many forums, workshops and public presentations. And, we have seen a growth in the support for Democratic candidates in the county — leading to four of the precincts supporting our president and Second District Congressman Dave Loebsack in the 2012 election. Although Henry County is one of our smallest counties, the county organization in Henry County is one of the strongest in the district.
“I’ve always tried to attend Democratic events,” Helman said. “I have tried to work hard and the work has really been exhilarating. It has been a special pleasure to get to know Tom Vilsack, former mayor Mt. Pleasant and now secretary of agriculture. And, of course, it has meant a lot to be part of our Congressman Dave Loebsack’s successful campaigns.
“The award usually goes to someone in one of the larger counties so having someone from Henry County win the award is pretty cool,” he continued. “A lot of it is working hard with what you have. Over the years, we have increased enthusiasm (in the county) in the party. It is nice, something I never expected. In Iowa, turning out the vote is big time.”
A retired federal prison guard, Helman is a member of the governmental affairs committee of the Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Alliance, chair of the Henry County Board of Adjustment and chair of the Henry/Washington County Early Childhood Iowa Board of Directors.