- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Iowa GOP announced Thursday that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will be among the likely 2016 presidential candidates to attend its “star-studded” Lincoln Dinner in May.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who won the 2012 Iowa caucuses, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas are also scheduled to speak, as are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

“There’s always the chance for a candidate to have a defining moment at an event like this in Iowa,” Jeff Kaufmann, chair of the Iowa GOP, said in a press release. “This dinner is an opportunity for our distinguished guests to set themselves apart and announce to Iowa and the country why they should be the next President of the United States.”

The Iowa caucuses will open up the GOP nomination race in less than a year. The Republican Party’s Lincoln Dinner is being held May 16 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines.

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky also have been invited to attend.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have yet to confirm whether they plan to make the trip.

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