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DES MOINES, Iowa—Former President Donald Trump doesn’t arrive at the Iowa State Fair until Aug. 12—along with at least seven other 2024 presidential candidates—but the GOP frontrunner’s advance team and boosters were all over the sprawling midway grid and a visible presence at rivals’ stump speeches.
None of the hopefuls, however, were staging events where former Arizona gubernatorial candidate and MAGA maven Kari Lake went upon her arrival at the fair: into a steamy, scented barn to milk a cow.
An Iowa native raised on a farm, Ms. Lake made points with each pull, asking between the swish, swish, swish of freshly spurt milk if any reporters from the New York Times were around so they could see living proof “that there are only two genders.”
If this exhibition didn’t suffice, she invited anyone unsure about how many genders there are to go to the nearby bullpen “and milk a bull and see how that goes.”
Four presidential candidates were on the grounds—former Vice President Mike Pence, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, conservative radio host Larry Elder, Jr.—stumping at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox and joining Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds for ‘Fair Side Chats.’ Texas pastor and entrepreneur Ryan Binkley was making rounds.
But it was Ms. Lake, a prospective 2024 Arizona senate candidate, and potential Trump running mate, who stole the show on the second day of the 11-day Iowa State Fair.
More than 1 million visitors and at least 13 presidential candidates are expected to prowl the 445-acre fairgrounds near the State Capitol complex east of downtown Des Moines before the fair ends Aug. 20. At least seven, including Mr. Trump, will be on scene Aug. 12.
Ms. Lake said the former president enjoys venues like the Iowa State Fair, where he plans to meet and greet folks on the midway “because he is a man of the people” rather than participate in the fair’s scheduled event. His campaign only announced he was coming on Aug. 8.
And so Ms. Lake was on Team Trump’s vanguard, ensuring the former president, who leads GOP rivals by 30 percentage points in national polls but not by as such wide margins in Iowa, remains first and foremost in voters’ minds.
“I am going to do everything I can to help President Trump,” she said, noting the nation is suffering under the tutelage of the Biden administration. “I’m really just a mom who is tired of where this country is going.”
Ms. Lake said as a native Iowan who grew up on a farm, she understands the importance of agriculture. “Iowa feeds the United States and the world,” she said, “and the president knows that” too.
Senate or Trump’s VP Running Mate?
One of 2024’s most pivotal Senate races will be in Arizona, where Republicans have a good chance to gain a seat in their effort to recapture the Senate.
Incumbent Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, elected in 2018 as a Democrat before leaving the party in December 2022, has not announced her 2024 intentions but is expected to seek a second six-year term.
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) announced in January that he was running for Ms. Sinema’s seat. Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb and former gubernatorial candidate George Nicholson are the two most prominent Republican hopefuls.
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With an April 8 filing deadline for the state’s Aug. 6, 2024 primary, much is in flux in the key battleground state, but a contentious three-way race appears likely.
Ms. Lake said she is pondering entering the GOP primary to win the party nod to take on Ms. Sinema and Mr. Gallego.
“I am strongly considering it,” she said, promising a decision by fall. “I need to take a look at the field” to ensure the Republicans field a candidate that can “meet the needs of the people of Arizona.”
Rumor had it that Ms. Lake would be appearing later at Steak & Stein, a restaurant bar on the fairgrounds midway, and would be bartending.
She was, she said, but had not heard about the bartending gig. But, no problem, she can do that.
“I know how to milk a cow and I know how to tap a beer,” Ms. Lake said. “I’d do it if they let me.”
Even without Mr. Trump on the scene, Aug. 12 will be a busy day for midway politicking with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Trump administration U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis—all already campaigning across the Hawkeye State—joining Gov. Reynolds for morning ‘Fair Side Chats.’
Mr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Haley will later that day appear on Des Moines Register Political Soapbox along with Republican pastor and business owner Ryan Binkley and Democrats Marianne Williamson—who will be on stage as Mr. Trump is speaking elsewhere on the fairgrounds—and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Former Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), and former Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) will be campaigning at the fair next week.
Article cross-posted from our premium news partners at The Epoch Times.