For the second time in two weeks, a lawmaker from South Florida is dipping a toe into Iowa politics.
On June 2, it was U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican and potential 2016 presidential candidate, who dropped in to give an assist to state Sen. Joni Ernst in her bid to win the GOP primary for an open U.S. Senate seat. Turns out Ernst probably didn’t need the help, going on the next day to cruise to an unexpectedly easy win in the five-person field (she pulled 56 percent of the vote despite being massively outspent by one of her competitors).
Ernst now faces U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Democrat from the northeast part of the state; early polls have her ahead.
On tap Friday is a visit from one of Braley’s House colleagues, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Weston who doubles as the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee.
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For Iowa Republicans, this is a significant weekend, with a state party convention set for Saturday in Des Moines and three possible presidential candidates scheduled to appear (Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania).
According to The Des Moines Register, Wasserman Schultz is on hand to “counterbalance all that conservative speechifying” and that she will stress that the GOP has been taken over by the tea party.
Senate candidate Ernst has already attempted to counter that counterbalance; her campaign says Wasserman Schultz is an ideal spokeswoman for “Beltway Bruce Braley,” who they are working to portray as out-of-touch with Iowans.