Republican candidates gathering in Des Moines this weekend


Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas speaks to the audience at the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday, July 18.

Alex Hanson

After last weekend’s hectic day of politicians in Ames at the Cy-Hawk football game, several Republican candidates for president will be back in Iowa this weekend to campaign.

The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition will host its 15th annual Fall Family Dinner on Saturday at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Doors open at 4 p.m., dinner will be served from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. and the program begins at 5:30 p.m.

Several Republican candidates have confirmed they will attend the event, including businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

All eyes will be on Trump following his performance in Wednesday night’s debate and his continuing dominance in polls. Many will also be watching Walker, who was once the frontrunner in Iowa polling. Walker shot to the top following a passionate speech at January’s “Iowa Freedom Summit,” but his double-digit poll numbers have been reduced to single digits since Trump’s entrance.

Several candidates will make other stops around the state. Graham will appear in Ames at 2 p.m. Saturday, and Trump is sure to make headlines when he attends an event at Urbandale High School after students in a government class invited him to speak at their homecoming festivities.

Follow the Daily’s coverage of Saturday’s event on our website and follow reporters @theAlexHanson and @eric_wirth94, and photographer @CharliePCoffey during the event. Then, look for analysis in Monday’s print edition.