During the month of June, a top Republican will travel to Iowa to meet conservative voters in the 4th Congressional District, one of the most important battlegrounds for Republican presidential nominations.
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The former ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who is eyeing a bid for the presidency in 2024, is slated to be the special guest at the second annual Feenstra Family Picnic, to be held in Sioux Center. The event is hosted by Representative Randy Feenstra (R-IA). The headliner from last year’s event was former Vice President Mike Pence.
“I’m excited to welcome Ambassador Nikki Haley to Iowa for my second annual Feenstra Family Picnic,” Feenstra said in a statement released on Tuesday. “From standing up to China to promoting our American values, she served our country with integrity and vision both at home and abroad. I am grateful for her work on behalf of Iowa and our country.”
In the northwest corner of Iowa, where Feenstra represents the 4th Congressional District, voters often exert significant influence in the state’s presidential nominating caucuses.
The competition marks the beginning of the GOP presidential primary every four years, and Feenstra has establ;ished himself as a power broker for Republican presidential hopefuls who want to establish a relationship with his constituents.
“Randy Feenstra is a bold, conservative voice for rural America and hardworking Iowa families,” Haley said in a statement.
Former governor of South Carolina, Haley, 50, accepted a position in the administration of former president Donald Trump after serving six years in office.
As she lays the foundations for a presidential campaign, she has made several trips to Iowa since resigning as ambassador to the United Nations and has been active on the Republican fundraising circuit, and is working hard for Republican candidates running in the midterm elections.
However, in a surprising statement about her decision, Haley has said she will not run for the White House in 2024, if Trump decides to mount a campaign for a second term.
Former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two other former Trump administration members contemplating a run for the White House, have declined to make such a public commitment to not run against Trump should he try for a second term.
Gearing up toward a potential 2024 presidential run, Pence also made a stop in Iowa’s influential 4th district, in April of this year.
The Des Moines Register reported:
At the state party’s district convention in Carroll, Pence praised U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra as “a man whose integrity, whose faith, whose commitment to the conservative agenda has won admirers around America in a short period of time.”
He lauded U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, saying there is “no more courageous or principled conservative in the United States Senate”
And he said he’s been a fan of Gov. Kim Reynolds “since before it was cool.”
“She’s emerged not only as one of the most effective governors in America, but one of the most important conservative voices in our nation today,” Pence said, drawing the largest round of cheers as the crowd got to its feet. “Her response to the State of the Union address continues to echo all across the country.”
As this was Pence’s third trip to Iowa since the 2020 election, it adds an even greater basis to the speculation that the former vice president may be making a run for the White House in 2024, going against his former running mate and President of the United States.
Republicans will hold their first-in-the-nation caucuses in 2024 as planned, even though Democrats are restructuring the state’s early presidential n0minating calendar.
Feenstra, who hosted Pence at a fundraiser previously, noted the visit will help cement Iowa Republicans’ position at the forefront of the Republican Party.
“I just want to be an ambassador to anybody,” he said. “I want to show what ‘Iowa nice’ is. I want to show what Iowa looks like in the rural main streets. We have tremendous schools and hospitals and our farming communities. And if they want to come, hey, I’m going to show them around.”
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During a call with reporters ahead of Vice President Pence’s visit to Iowa, Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn complained that both he and Republican President Donald Trump had not delivered on their promises to Iowans.
“Mike Pence and Donald Trump promised Iowans for four years they would get infrastructure week and get rural broadband for Iowans,” he said. “But it was President Biden and Democrats who worked across the aisle to pass the bipartisan infrastructure deal. And let’s not forget, Pence led the charge to cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations while President Biden has a plan to make billionaires pay their fair share, while giving a tax cut to families.”
He told attendees at the Ames event that history repeats itself, recalling the early years of Barack Obama’s administration when Democrats held the trifecta in Washington. As in the past decade, Pence said Republicans will gain control of the House and Senate in the midterms, and eventually take the presidency – though he didn’t specify whether he could see himself running in 2024.