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The Gazette KCRG
Posted October 18, 2011
What’s Ahead: It’s a date; Perry’s coming; Romney’s getting closer

Like déjà vu all over again.

The Republican Party of Iowa has nailed down a date for its first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses – Jan. 3.

It will be just like 2008 when the caucuses came hard on the heels of New Year’s Day and smack dab in the middle of college football bowl season.

The good news is that we won’t be sharing leftover Thanksgiving turkey and dressing at precinct caucuses. The bad news is that it leaves open the possibility that New Hampshire jumps ahead of Iowa to host the first nominating event.

So, perhaps, write the caucus date on your calendar in erasable ink.

Perry on parade

Gov. Rick Perry

We know more about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s planned visit to Eastern Iowa Saturday.

Perry will attend Rep. Jeff Kaufmann’s annual barbecue at his family’s Century Farm northwest of Wilton.

Perry is expected to arrive around 1:30 and spend 45 minutes to an hour visiting with folks and making remarks. Then he heads to Des Moines for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s fall banquet. Perry reportedly has one other stop planned while in Iowa. Details have not been released.

Kaufmann, a Wilton Republican who is speaker pro tempore of the Iowa House, likes to bring a “name” guest to his barbecue to attract a crowd. A couple of years ago, it was Terry Branstad, who was being urged to challenge Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.

Kaufmann brought in former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich earlier this year, but reportedly no longer is supporting him for the 2012 GOP nomination. The Perry campaign said that while it would welcome Kaufmann’s endorsement, it is not expecting an announcement Saturday.

It’s Perry’s sixth trip to Iowa since debuting here Aug. 14. He’ll be back Nov. 4 for the Iowa GOP’s annual Ronald Reagan Dinner and again Nov. 19 for The Family Leader’s Thanksgiving Family Forum.

Coincidentally, that’s the same night as the Iowa Democratic Party’s annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Des Moines.

On the calendar:

  •   Mitt Romney, according to his Iowa staff, will campaign in Sioux City and Council Bluffs Oct. 20.
  •   Ron Paul will campaign in Iowa Oct. 21 and 22. He’ll celebrate homecoming with Youth for Ron Paul at 8 p.m. Oct. 21 at the University of Iowa Memorial Union Main Lounge, 125 N. Madison St., Iowa City.
  •   Rick Perry at a fundraiser for Iowa Rep. Jeff Kaufmann, Wilton, 1:30 p.m., Oct. 22.
  •   Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition fall banquet at the Knapp Center at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Check-in starts at 4:30 p.m.
  •   Gingrich will be in Dubuque Oct. 24. No details yet.


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