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April 20th, 2011

Gingrich Puts Presidential Campaign in Motion – Announces Iowa Team

By Craig Robinson

Former United States Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich continues to inch closer to becoming a full-blown presidential candidate. has learned that Iowa House Majority Leader, Rep. Linda Upmeyer, has agreed to chair Newt Explore 2012 in Iowa.

As you may recall, Upmeyer pledged her support to Gingrich in January at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Summit in Des Moines when she said, “I for one think this is just the right guy to be the president of the United States and I think there’s a whole bunch of people in this room who believe that” at the conclusion of his remarks.

Upmeyer, who is the state’s first female House Majority Leader, gives Gingrich a high profile endorsement that he can tout around the state.   A long time fan of Gingrich, Upmeyer used her relationship with him to help raise money for the Republican House Majority Fund during the last election cycle.  According to, Gingrich’s American Solutions PAC made $100,000 in contributions to the House Majority Fund between September 3, 2010, and October 28, 2010.

Gingrich is also adding two political veterans to his Iowa team.   Craig Schoenfeld and Will Rogers will be his Iowa points of contact.  Schoenfeld is a long-time veteran of local and statewide Iowa political campaigns.  In 2004, he ran the Iowa Victory effort for President Bush, in addition to working on President Bush’s successful caucus effort in 2000.  Schoenfeld is a practicing attorney, and registered lobbyist with the Des Moines based firm of Wasker, Dorr, Wimmer & Marcouiller.

Will Rogers is a Des Moines native, Army veteran, and Drake University alumnus.  For the past 15 years, Rogers has been involved in helping elect Republicans in Iowa beginning with Congressman Greg Ganske’s first campaign.  He subsequently served as the Executive Director for the Polk County GOP, worked for Congressman Tom Latham’s campaign in 2004, and served as the Co-Chair of the Polk County GOP during the last election.  Rogers, another registered lobbyists, currently serves as the Director of Government Affairs for the Iowa Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association.

Schoenfeld provides Gingrich with an understanding of how Iowa caucus campaigns operate.  Rogers brings a wealth of activists’ contacts with him to the campaign.  His extensive work in Polk and Story Counties could pay huge dividends at the Iowa Straw Poll this summer.  The two have also worked on the same campaign before.  In 2004, they both worked for Ganske’s U.S. Senate campaign against U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

Photo by Dave Davidson

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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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