- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mitt Romney will stump for the castrator in his first return to Iowa since the 2012 election.

Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst’s campaign announced Thursday that the GOP 2012 presidential nominee would campaign in Cedar Rapids and Davenport on Friday, May 30 in the hotly contested GOP primary for Iowa’s open Senate seat.

Ms. Ernst, an Iowa state senator from Red Oak, is one of five Republicans vying for the right to run for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

She has already attracted national comment for a viral campaign ad where she touts her experience castrating hogs on her family farm — and promising to do the same to government pork if she goes to Washington.

She also serves as a lieutenant colonel and battalion commander in the Iowa National Guard, and is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“Governor Romney knows that Iowans are hard-working, common-sense people that want a U.S. Senator who will take our shared Iowa values to Washington, D.C. Over the years he has made thousands of friends here. I am honored by his support and excited to campaign alongside him in eastern Iowa next week,” Ms. Ernst said in a release on her website.

Mr. Romney isn’t the first high profile politico to campaign for Ernst, either. Former vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin made an appearance last month in Iowa with Ms. Ernst at a conservative women’s PAC event.

If nominated, Ms. Ernst would go up against Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running as the lone Democrat, in the general election.

Iowa’s primary is on June 3.