Scott Walker, the Republican who leads the presidential pack in Iowa polling, is the first of the 2016 White House aspirants to open an office here.
A political organization created by Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, has leased the space at 2775 86th St. in Urbandale – an office with a storied Republican political history.
The strip-mall storefront, located behind a Panera Bread cafe, has been occupied over the years by campaigns for Terry Branstad for governor, Tom Latham for Congress, Bill Northey for agriculture secretary and other Iowa races as part of GOP Victory efforts. In 2012, it headquartered Michele Bachmann’s team for the Iowa caucuses and Mitt Romney’s general election campaign. It was John McCain and Sarah Palin’s Midwest regional campaign headquarters in 2008.
Walker’s Our American Revival 527 organization has claimed it for 2016.
The office could eventually become a campaign headquarters for Walker if he chooses to run for president, which is looking entirely likely at this point as he establishes a presence Iowa, boosts his national profile and staffs up with political strategists. The first-in-the-nation caucuses here are tentatively set for Feb. 1, 2016 – a little less a year away.
Two draft movements already have Iowa offices. Activists who are hoping for presidential bids by Republican former neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts have spaces. A third, Ready for Hillary, doesn’t have an Iowa office at this point, but has activists here organizing for former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
This is the first location directly connected to a potential contender, although Walker’s Our American Revival says for now that the organization is about transferring power out of Washington and back to the states and the people, not a White House campaign. The new office here is meant “to engage with the citizens of Iowa,” an adviser said.
Iowans noticed action from Team Walker at the building and told The Des Moines Register. Aides for Walker’s political organization confirmed to the Register the office is now open.
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SOURCE: The Des Moines Register