Saturday was a big night for Iowa Democrats, gathering for the annual Red, White, and Blue Banquet at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds.
It's a party to get candidates and officials started up on campaign season. One of the big issues they say they're focused on is increasing the minimum wage.
Much of the talk at the banquet focused on how to boost the economy.
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) has a bill that'll be on the Senate floor in a few weeks looking to raise the federal minimum wage.
His legislation proposes raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10/hour - Up from $7.25/hour now.
Harkin says the increase will help create jobs and bring people out of poverty.
He says every time that wage gets raised, businesses say they can't afford it.
But, he says that's not the case, and the economy should see a big benefit.
"When you raise someone's minimum wage up, they tend to spend that money. They do," Sen. Harkin said.
"The GDP, the Gross Domestic Product, will increase. We'll have more jobs and people will live better," he added.
"We have low wage state, so that obsession with not raising the minimum wage, I think is a mistake," agreed State Senator Jack Hatch (D-Des Moines), who is running for governor.
Another big issue Democrats at this weekend's banquet were pushing for was better funding for education.
Lawmakers and candidates we talked to say that is critical for job growth.
Last week, at the Jo Daviess County Republican party's annual Lincoln Dinner in Galena, GOP candidates and lawmakers told us they're focused these days on addressing issues with infighting in the party and on passing legislation to set term limits.