Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas is heading to the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa in late June to help support fellow Republicans running in the 2022 midterm elections.
The trip by Cotton, who is considered a potential 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, will spark more speculation about his likely national ambitions in the next White House race.
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The Republican Party of Iowa confirmed to Fox News on Wednesday that Cotton will team up with longtime Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and GOP state chair Jeff Kaufmann on June 29 in Sioux Center, a small city in the reliably red northwest part of the Hawkeye State.
The 87-year-old Grassley of Iowa has not announced yet whether he’ll run next year for an eighth term in the Senate. The state could be the site of competitive Senate, House and gubernatorial showdowns in 2022.
Cotton, who faced nominal opposition last year as he ran for reelection, spent much of his time campaigning for then-President Trump’s 2020 reelection as well as for down-ballot Republicans. His travels brought him both to Iowa as well as New Hampshire, the state that votes second in the presidential nominating calendar and for a century has held the first primary in the White House race. This year Cotton has already headlined two virtual events for New Hampshire’s GOP.
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Asked last summer during an interview with Fox News in New Hampshire if a potential White House run in 2024 was something he is mulling, Cotton said, “I’ll continue to try to focus on the ways we can make America a better place for all of our citizens in any way whatsoever.”
News of Cotton’s trip to the Hawkeye State was first reported by the Iowa Field Report.
“I think there are a lot of folks excited about what Tom Cotton has been talking about. He is working hard to get himself out in front voters sooner rather than later as many of us expect 2024 to produce a bumper crop of potential candidates vying for the presidency,” Iowa Field Report editor and veteran GOP political operative Luke Martz told Fox News.
Cotton, who turns 44 next month, is a veteran Army infantry officer who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars before being elected first to the House in 2012 and then the Senate two years later. He upped his national profile soon after entering the Senate by taking a strong stand against the Iranian nuclear deal forged by former President Barack Obama’s administration. At the beginning of 2020, Cotton was one of the first lawmakers in Congress to raise red flags about the coronavirus pandemic and repeatedly slammed Beijing’s handling of the virus, which originated in China.
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Cotton is a strong Trump supporter, but broke with him over the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by right-wing extremists and other Trump supporters who aimed to disrupt congressional certification of now-President Biden’s election victory.
Cotton will become the fourth potential 2024 GOP presidential contender to travel to Iowa so far this year.
Last month, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to a local Republican club in suburban Des Moines. And earlier this month, Sens. Rick Scott of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina headlined separate events for the Iowa GOP.