The Washington Times - June 7, 2013, 01:25PM

Sen. Ted Cruz will be the keynote speaker at the state Republican summer picnic in Des Moines, the chairman of the Iowa GOP announced on Friday.

Political observers will be watching as Mr. Cruz heads to Iowa, home to the caucus that will kick off the 2016 presidential season.

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A.J. Spiker said via Twitter that he is “thrilled” to have Mr. Cruz, a tea party favorite, headline the state party’s July 19 event.

Mr. Cruz has received a lot of attention over the course of his first five months in office, so much so that some conservatives are hoping that he will run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The Texas Republican delivered a speech last month at the South Carolina GOP’s Silver Elephant Dinner and an influential social conservative group in New Hampshire has invited him to speak at an event this fall.

New Hampshire and South Carolina play host to the second and third primary stops on the nomination calendar.