The following article was written by an attendee at the Johnson County GOP Fall BBQ, offering a recap of the event. The opinions contained therein are that person’s. The writer is not affiliated with any candidate’s campaign and is undecided on the U.S. Senate race. For another view, liberal blogger John Deeth also attended the event.
The Johnson County Republicans hosted the first U.S. Senate candidate forum in eastern Iowa on Saturday night. The event was well planned and everyone was very friendly. County Chairwoman Deb Thornton greeted each table. That personal touch was great appreciated.
There were about 125 people in attendance. That number does not include the various media outlets on hand. The food was excellent. It included freshly cut smoked pork and all the fixings. Karen Fesler was the event chair. She is also the Co- Chair of the 2nd District Executive Committee. Congratulations to her on a job well done!
In attendance were various local city council and mayoral candidates, congressional candidate and current Iowa House Rep. Mark Lofgren, potential congressional candidate Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Senate District 39 candidates Michael Moore, Royce Phillips and Bob Anderson. Anderson is also a State Central Committee member.
Other notable attendees included RNC National Committeeman Steve Scheffler and National Committeewoman Tamara Scott. Mark Cisneros made the trip with his daughter, who was writing a report on the night’s adventure. He is one of three Republican candidates running for House District 91. Naomi Leinen, chair of the 3rd District Executive Committee made the trip over to support the Johnson County GOP. One big notable attendee was county supervisor John Etheridge, who was the first Republican to claim a seat on that board in 55 years.
At each table were small white towels. Chairowoman Deb Thornton explained those were to send back to the out of touch Bruce Braley.
Johnson County central committee member Jason Glass was the moderator for the U.S. Senate forum. Each candidate got three questions. One was a foreign policy question, one was a domestic, and one was a fun question. They also all got to make opening and closing remarks. Glass did a good job as moderator, interjecting humor at the right times.
Sam Clovis came out ahead in tonight’s forum among audience members who were asked. He consistently does well in relating to audience and answering questions while keeping the audience engaged. Clovis also added that he expects the field to grow. Matt Whitaker came in a close second tonight. His line of, “I would not be the bring home the bacon kind of U.S. Senator”, resonated with event goers.
Scott Schaben placed third tonight. His non-serious question was, who is your favorite superhero. His answer of Superman got the crowd laughing. His stump speech of hard work and Navy background also resonated with this crowd.
It’s interesting that Joni Ernst, who only five days ago got an endorsement from the lieutenant governor, did not mention that endorsement once in Johnson County. She said she would work on behalf of the attendees and all Iowans. However, in my opinion, Ernst wasn’t as strong as she usually is.
David Young continued struggling to relate to the average Iowan. Mark Jacobs, who has formed a senate exploratory committee, attended the event but did not participate in the forum.
All in all, the Johnson County GOP out did themselves. The candidates really enjoyed the event saying that it was the best one so far, and they all enjoyed the fun question. Congratulations to all involved!
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