“I was disappointed,” Seniors upset to hear Kamala Harris would not be stopping at CASI during campaign trail

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- A Davenport senior center says it's members are disappointed after a missed meeting with presidential candidate Kamala Harris.

At CASI, seniors like Gary Paget have their normal routine.

"I take an exercise class in the morning and then I walk around the hallway here," said Paget as he worked his way around the center.

But on Monday, an opportunity out of the ordinary came up. Presidential candidate Kamala Harris was expected to make a visit that afternoon.

"Her Iowa representative reached out to our staff and asked if they could make an informal stop to meet with a small group of members," CEO of CASI Laura Kopp said. "They wanted somewhat of an intimate feel."

Kopp said Harris' campaign team reached out first to see if it was a possibility, and then again a week prior to the event to confirm.

"I was looking forward to that," Paget said. "Meeting an actual candidate."

But now, Gary and several others say they feel disappointed.

"We were sitting there, and we kept on sitting there and sitting there and sitting there," Paget said. "She didn't show up. Then (management) came in and said 'Well we're trying to get a hold of her' but they couldn't get a hold of her campaign people."

Kopp said her team never heard back from Harris' campaign despite calls for clarification after the senator did not show up.

According to an itinerary sent to media, CASI was never a planned stop on the campaign trail. CASI organizers said they do not have a paper trail, considering all communication with state representatives was done by phone.

On a phone call with News 8, Iowa Communications Director, Miryam Lipper, said campaign organizers called several senior centers in the area as possibilities, but never confirmed an event with CASI.

Kamala Harris' campaign issued a statement saying:

“We are so sorry for any confusion caused by our staff during our conversations with CASI. Senator Harris loved spending time with Seniors in Muscatine and we look forward to having her back in the area soon.”

Kopp said CASI has hosted several candidates and hopes to continue it in the future. CASI has started a "Decision 2020" campaign to "provide the opportunities for education, on both sides of the isle, for (their) membership."

"(Seniors) want to be valued," Kopp said. "I think they want to know that others value their opinion, want to hear their voice, and that they matter."

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