Running for any political office is no easy task. Running for a statewide office is even more difficult. Last night, TheIowaRepublican.com attended the Dallas County Republicans’ Annual Steak Fry, a great event that attracted 180 Republicans and raised over $5500 for the local political party. If Brenna Findley hadn’t posted a Facebook entry about baking a couple of pies for the pie auction, TheIowaRepublican.com would have probably shown up a day late.
Findley, who is a Dallas County resident, baked two pies after arriving home from Emmetsburg late the night before. On her Facebook page, she said that she took the apple and sour cream raisin pies out of the oven at one in the morning. Findley’s Apple pie brought in $65, while her sour cream raisin pie fetched the highest amount of the night. Her grandparents bought it for $250.
The event also featured Terry Branstad and his running mate Kim Reynolds. Branstad focused his remarks on encouraging people to support the entire Republican team. He compared the financial mess that Governor Culver has created in Iowa to the one that President Obama has created nationally.
Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey echoed Branstad’s remarks. He talked about how difficult campaigning in 2006 was compared to this year. Northey said he believes that the 2010 elections will send a message to Democrats who are not even on the ballot this year. Northey just returned from a meeting of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. He was selected to be the vice president of the group. If re-elected this fall, he would become the group’s president in 2012, and the annual meeting would be held in Iowa that year.
Brenna Findley and Matt Schultz also addressed the crowd. Findley, who was greeted with a huge standing ovation, used her time to thank her home county for propelling her campaign. She also used the opportunity to advocate for Schultz. She indicated that she and Schultz are going to tour the state together on a “Young Guns” tour.
On the local level, candidates for county offices also spoke. Dallas County Treasurer, Darrell Bauman, who is running unopposed, used his allotted time to talk up two statewide candidates that he has had the opportunity to work with. He had only high praise for Kim Reynolds and Dave Jamison, who both served as county treasurers.
Chad Airhart, a long-time Republican political operative, has thrown his hat into the political ring. Airhart is running for county recorder this fall. He noted that, since Dallas County is Iowa’s fastest growing county in the state, county government needs to be proactive in finding ways to save money by streamlining services. He proposed allowing residents to apply for hunting and fishing licenses and pay their renewal fees for boats, RV’s, and ATV’s online.
Another popular topic at the event was winning back the majority in the Iowa House. State Representative Ralph Watts talked about the road to 51 and a new fundraising push by House members to help win the necessary seats this fall. One of the candidates that is creating some considerable buzz is Chip Baltimore in HD 48. Baltimore is running against Representative Donovan Olsen. Baltimore reminded people that District 48 hasn’t be represented by a Republican in 35 years, and that Republicans couldn’t even recruit a candidate to run in the district in 2008. Baltimore has the people of the district excited about his race, especially the Republicans in Dallas County.
The event was huge success for the Dallas County Republican Party. The excitement about the upcoming elections was evident, and the size of the crowd was also larger than last year’s gathering. If the enthusiasm on display at last night’s event is any indication of the coming election results, Iowa Republicans should have a lot to celebrate in November.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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