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Freshman Sen. Rand Paul will offer the keynote address at the Iowa GOP’s second Night of the Rising Stars fundraiser on April 2 in Des Moines, the party announced Wednesday. But the Kentucky Republican’s office said that unlike a lot of other Republicans parading through the Hawkeye State, the tea party favorite won’t be there to campaign.
“Sen. Paul is going Iowa to do two things: Talk about his book, “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” and then to help talk about what the Tea Party is looking for in 2012,” Paul spokesman Gary Howard wrote in an e-mail. “He is hoping to start a conversation, and is not running for anything.”
In the release Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said Paul can get up-and-coming Iowans excited about what’s coming next.
“Sen. Paul represents the new energy of Republicans in Washington. His dedication to the cause of limited government not only resonated with the voters of Kentucky but catapulted him on to the national stage,” Strawn said in the release. “Iowa Republicans will be interested to hear his solutions to seriously address the national debt and stop the growth of government.”
Rand Paul defeated then-Secretary of State Trey Grayson, widely seen as the establishment candidate, in the 2010 Republican primary.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour (R), who’s considering running for president in 2012, spoke at the first Night of the Rising Stars event in 2009.