One of the nation’s most prominent Republican officials will deliver the keynote address at the Polk County GOP’s annual Robb Kelley Club Spring Dinner. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has accepted an invitation to headline the county party’s fundraiser on Thursday, May 23. The event will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines.
“We’re tickled to death,” said new Polk GOP Chairman Will Rogers. “To have someone of his stature coming and helping out our county party is great. Someone who has shown true leadership in America and that’s why I think people will be excite to se him and visit with him.”
Beloved by conservatives, loathed by liberals, Scott Walker gained nationwide fame for his victorious battles with unions in his state. As a gubernatorial candidate in 2010, Walker proposed sweeping legislative reforms to tackle Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget deficit.
The state legislature passed, and Walker signed into law, the bill that required public employees to pay a greater share for their benefits, allowed public employees to skip paying union dues if they chose not to join unions. The legislation also placed limits on public employees’ collective bargaining power.
The outcry from union members provided endless fodder for cable news channels. However, Walker triumphed again and again, including a recall election and court battles that that worked their way up to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Walker’s actions, and subsequent victories, have made him a highly sought after figure on the GOP fundraising circuit.
“We’re delighted to have Governor Walker,” said Polk GOP fundraiser Darrell Kearney. “Obviously it’s good for the Polk County Republican Party. It demonstrates we are attractive venue for political leaders to want to come to Iowa and come to Des Moines. We think it’s good for us obviously as a growing political organization.”
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will also attend the May 23 fundraiser and introduce Walker to the crowd. Branstad’s office helped the Polk GOP coordinate with Governor Walker’s to arrange his visit, Kearney said.
As is the case whenever a high profile Republican visits Iowa, Walker’s appearance at the Polk County GOP fundraiser is sure to elicit speculation about a potential 2016 presidential bid. His previous appearances in the First-in-the-Nation caucus state have received high praise.
“I am excited Governor Scott Walker will be our keynote speaker,” said Polk GOP Executive Director Ryan Keller. “Governor Walker is a principled leader that continues to find solutions facing the state of Wisconsin while keeping government smaller and sustainable.”
Well-known Des Moines insurance executive Cam Sutton is the new co-chair for the Robb Kelley Club. He played a key role in securing Scott Walker’s appearance and will work to help the organization bring in high profile speakers. The May 23 event will be the Robb Kelley Club’s fourth annual spring fundraiser. Individual tickets cost $75.
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