In his speech to the Republican National Convention last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie closed by saying, “If you’re willing to stand up with me for America’s future, I will stand up with you.” Christie was urging the delegates and broader television audience to join the effort in helping to elect Mitt Romney, but his 2012 efforts are going beyond that. Invitations have landed in mailboxes to announce that Chris Christie is Iowa bound to help Republicans raise money to take control of the State Senate.
Governor Christie, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will be the featured speakers at Team Iowa PAC’s V2 dinner on September 20th. The “V” stands for victory, and “2” stands for the number of seats Republicans need to gain to win control of the chamber, the invitation explains. The event will be held at The Meadows Conference Center in Altoona. Tickets are $100 per person.
After being the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention this week, Governor Christie’s itinerary is raising some eyebrows. After his convention address, Christie met with delegates from New Hampshire. He also attended a small round table discussion that included some Iowa delegates, as well as Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds. Now Governor Christie is headed to Iowa to help raise money for Senate Republicans.
These are the actions of someone who’s interested in running for president himself some day, not the actions of a Romney surrogate. Since 2010, Christie has made a handful of trips to Iowa. His first was to raise money for Branstad’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. The second was to keynote Branstad’s education summit. He also made time to raise money for Congressman Steve King, who is running against former First Lady of Iowa Christie Vilsack, during that trip. Before the caucuses, Christie was in the state to campaign for Romney.
Some influential Iowans, who also just happen to be key benefactors to Team Iowa PAC, also traveled to New Jersey last year to ask Governor Christie to run for president, a request which he declined. However, one cannot overlook the relationships Christie has fostered in the First-in-the-Nation state in recent years.
One also should not overlook the importance of Team Iowa PAC’s involvement in the upcoming election. It is no secret that Republican leaders in the senate have struggled in raising the fund necessary funds to take control of the chamber. Team Iowa PAC has a history of focusing its efforts on particular races, and this year, it’s obvious the focus will be on the Iowa Senate.
Team Iowa PAC has been in existence since the 2008 election cycle. The group focuses exclusively on state campaigns and says it promotes limited government, personal responsibility and free market principles. The PAC has contributed to Iowa House, Senate, and a few statewide candidates during its history. In 2008, Team Iowa PAC poured $458,800.00 into the coffers of Republican legislative candidates and the Republican Party of Iowa. Most of those dollars went to House candidates in 2008 in an effort to retake the Iowa House.
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