House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a potential contender in the 2016 presidential race, will deliver the keynote speech at a major Republican dinner in Iowa during November, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told National Review Online.
The dinner will celebrate Branstad's 67th birthday. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, another potential presidential candidate, appeared at the event last year.
"He’s a key player in the House and I like him a lot," Branstad told the National Review, speaking of Ryan. "I enjoyed campaigning with him last year. He’s a good guy." The Wisconsin congressman was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2012.
Iowa is considered a key state in the presidential race, by virtue of its early caucus contests. The appearance in November would be Ryan's first since last year's campaign, according to the National Review. He has avoided appearances that would smack of a presidential run up until now.
Ryan placed third among possible GOP presidential candidates among Republican voters in a Public Policy Polling survey
in early July. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul led the field with 18 percent support, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 16 percent, and Ryan with 15 percent.
Ryan has some connections to Iowa, a mere two-hour drive from his Janesville, Wis. home. His wife Janna’s family comes from Clinton, Iowa, and Ryan’s grandfather attended Loras College in the state.
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