Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour will speak at the Iowa GOP’s Chairman’s Dinner on March 15 in the Quad Cities.
Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn’s dinner will kick off a year-long series of events with national political leaders meant to promote county Republican organizations. The dinner will be held in Scott County, the third-most-populous county in the Hawkeye State. The state party’s press release noted that Republicans have momentum there, pointing to their support of now-Gov. Terry Branstad (R).
“Not only did Scott County Republicans deliver for Terry Branstad in November, they won a Dem-held State House seat and swept all three county supervisor seats to hold a 4-1 GOP margin on the Board,” Strawn said in the release.
The state party said it would announce speakers at more events in the series “in the coming weeks.”
Barbour is among a number of potential Republican presidential candidates who are taking every opportunity to interact with Republicans in the state that hosts the nation’s first presidential caucuses.
Last week, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) announced former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) would speak at an event his leadership political action committee will host in Des Moines on March 26. King had already announced that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) would give the keynote address that day.
And socially conservative group the Family Leader has lined up a number of potential candidates for its lecture series across Iowa. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) went first, speaking at three Iowa schools on Feb. 7.
The events lead up to the nonbinding Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13, which may weed out weaker candidates before the official caucuses in February. Though some candidates have skipped the straw poll in the past, this year a debate earlier in the week will give them extra incentive to participate.