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June 25th, 2013

Polk County Republicans Hit the Links to Help GOP Candidates

Mother Nature did not cooperate, but Polk County Republicans consider the Second Annual Governor Robert D. Ray Golf Outing to be a big success. 18 foursomes hit the links Monday morning at Willow Creek Golf Course in West Des Moines, while raising money for the county party and local candidates. Together, they raised around $9,000. The late morning rains caused the event to be cut short.

“We are so thankful that we had so many people support our event,” said Polk County GOP Chairman Will Rogers. “I personally would like to thank all of our event leadership, including John Stokka and Gary Godwin, for making the event a great success. I would also like to acknowledge the support of our sponsors, staff and volunteers for their efforts.”

“John Stokka and Gary Godwin are really the two driving forces behind the golf outing,” said Ryan Keller, executive director of the Polk County GOP. “The connections with John being a former golf pro, and Gary with being a big golf fan, and his involvement in so many different things, it’s a very unique group of people that come together to make this event a success.”

Elected officials who were on hand for the golf outing and/or post-tournament luncheon included Iowa Senators Brad Zaun, Charles Schneider, Jack Whitver and Jake Chapman, House Representatives Chris Hagenow and Jake Highfill, as well as State Auditor Mary Mosiman, RNC National Committeewoman Tamara Scott and Dallas County Recorder Chad Airhart. U.S. Senate candidate Matt Whitaker, former RPI Chairman Matt Strawn and former RNC National Committeeman Steve Roberts were also on hand.

Candidates and elected officials who recruited their own golf team were allowed to keep a portion of the proceeds for their campaign accounts. Sen. Jake Chapman’s team tied for the best overall score.

“For me, it was a pleasure to spend time with a great group of Republicans, playing golf and helping raise money for the county party,” Will Rogers said.

Around 120 people attended the post-tournament luncheon. They had the opportunity to bid on numerous auction items, including a private lunch with Governor Branstad, Lt. Governor Reynolds or other prominent Republican officials.

Raffle items included gift certificates to restaurants such as Granite City, Legends, Montana Mike’s and many others. Dixon Golf, Hy-Vee Employees PAC, Hummel’s Nissan, Gary Kirke, Nick Ryan, Cam Sutton, Mark Egly from the Des Moines Driving Range and Gary Updegraff from Golf HQ were sponsors of the event.

“Our second annual tournament was a huge success despite the bad weather,” said organizer John Stokka. “Everyone enjoyed the event and turnout was excellent.”

Unfortunately, Governor Ray was feeling under the weather and was unable to attend. Next year’s Gov. Robert D. Ray Golf Outing is scheduled to take place at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.

*NOTE-RNC National Committeewoman Tamara Scott was also helping with the event. She was accidentally omitted from the original draft.

About the Author

Kevin Hall

Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor’s office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad’s 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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