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FIRST ON FOX: Former Vice President Mike Pence will return to Iowa next week as he will be the guest speaker at a prominent Republican family’s annual gathering.
Pence’s trip to Iowa will mark his second visit in a month to the state which for half a century has kicked off the calendar for presidential nominations, another potential signal the former vice president is preparing to launch a White House campaign in 2024.
Pence will headline the 15th annual Kaufmann Family Harvest Dinner, to be held Thursday, Sept. 29, in Wilton, a small town in eastern Iowa. News of his visit was first shared nationally with Fox News on Thursday.
The rally was started by longtime Iowa Republican Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann during his years as a state legislator. The dinner is now hosted by his son, State Representative Bobby Kaufmann. Money raised from the event – which will attract other Republican state leaders and legislative candidates – will go to the younger Kaufmann’s re-election fund in 2022.
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“Bobby Kaufmann was a champion of Iowa, his district and the conservative movement,” Pence said in a statement. “I look forward to joining Bobby at the Kaufmann Family Harvest Dinner and meeting with Republicans in his district to discuss our shared conservative values and our vision for Iowa’s future.”
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President Kaufmann emphasized in a statement that “Having national leaders like Vice President Pence visit small rural towns like Wilton really gets to the heart of what Iowa is really about. Iowans in every town in the State can ask tough questions and meet candidates face to face.”
Pence is no stranger to Iowa. He has already made four visits to the state since his term as vice president ended at the end of former President Trump’s administration in January last year. Pence took a busy two-day tour of Hawkeye State in August, including a visit to the Iowa State Fair, which is a must-stop for potential or actual White House candidates.
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Last week, Pence made his fifth trip in the past year and a half to New Hampshire, the state that for a century held the first primary in the presidential nominating calendar. Pence headlined a fundraiser for former Army Gen. Don Bolduc, who a day earlier won the GOP Senate nomination in the small but crucial general election battleground state. And last month, the former vice president headlined “Politics and Eggs” at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics — another must-stop for White House hopefuls — during a jam-packed swing through the Granite State. .
Pence, who has been busy this year criss-crossing the country campaigning and helping raise money for Republicans running for office in 2022, has also made several stops since the start of 2021 in South Carolina, which hosts the third contest — and the south’s first primary — in the Calendar of Republican Presidential Nominations.
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The former vice president has taken steps, such as building relationships in presidential primary and presidential early-vote caucus states, that often precede the launch of an actual White House campaign.
Publicly, Pence has repeatedly told Fox News and other news outlets when asked about 2024 that after the midterm elections are over, “we will do as our family has. always done. We will reflect, pray and consider where we might serve next.”