Sam Clovis in Muscatine
From left: Sam Clovis, US Senate Candidate, Mark Cisneros, District 91 State House Candidate, and State Represenative Bobby Kaufmann,

(Muscatine, IA) The Muscatine County GOP annual dinner was headlined by Secretary of State Matt Schultz. Schultz was introduced by Naomi Leinen, Schultz uplifted the crowd, receiving multiple cheers. The crowd laughed when Schultz claimed “how can my opponent claim that I’m racist, by supporting Voter ID….doesn’t he know that I’m married to a Latino!” Mark Cisneros, Muscatine’s District 91 State House Candidate, who happens to be Hispanic himself says: I’ve never heard any group claim it’s racist to have a Hispanic show an ID to board a plane, or cash a check, so why all of a sudden would it racist to have a Hispanic show an ID to vote? I’m a Hispanic, and I support Voter ID.”

Muscatine’s own State House Representative Mark Lofgren, who’s running for US Congress, couldn’t make his own hometown GOP Dinner? That was strange, but his hometown crowd were not disappointed as Lofgren’s wife Paula spoke on his behalf, because they joked she’s actually a much better public speaker then her husband.

Joni Ernst and Matt Whitaker were no shows, cancelling last minute after they confirmed weeks ago. That opened the door for Sam Clovis, who drove seven hours to the event to win over the captivated crowd. Muscatine’s Chair Alan Ostergen, told Clovis, “your opponents weren’t able to make it, so by all means take all the extra time you would like,” and Clovis took full advantage. Clovis rocked the crowd, drawing applause and cheers on five occasions. Clovis used the extra time, to break away from his normal stump speech, and speak about the military on the day after the anniversary of 9/11. He spoke of his families tradition in the military, his Father’s service, his Son’s current service, and of course of his own 25 years in the Air Force.

Whoever wins the GOP nomination for US Senate, just looking at Iowa history, is going to win Western Iowa, and is going to lose Iowa City. That leaves Eastern Iowa, counties like Scott and Muscatine, to determine the election. No elected Governor in Iowa history has won, without winning Davenport. Young never confirmed to begin with, so that’s excused, but the fact that Ernst and Whitaker were confirmed over a month ago, and then canceled within 48 hours, and 6 hours before the event is not going to get it done. Rod Roberts, who hasn’t even officially announced a Senate campaign, but is strongly considering, was even in attendance. These counties spend money, printing direct mail and printing the dinner programs, with the names of the speakers. Therefore when they no-show after confirming, it’s not only obvious to the few people behind the scenes, but everyone who has a program in front of them are reading the name of a speaker, who is obviously a no-show. The candidates need to have a solid lock on their calendar, and fulfill their commitments. In this case Sam Clovis says thank-you to his opponents, as he took full advantage and his riveting speech won over many voters.

This was a contribution from an attendee who chose to remain anonymous.  If you would like to contribute an article about an event in your are email Shane Vander Hart at

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