Saturday, May 13, 2006


Nussle visits Spaghetti Dinner

Johnson County Republicans gathered last night for their third annual Spaghetti Dinner. Though the weather outside was cold and rainy, Montgomery Hall at the Johnson County Fairgrounds was packed with friends from around the county who had come to hear our special guest, the next Governor of Iowa, Congressman Jim Nussle and visit with fellow Republicans.

About 125 people turned out for delicious spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread from Zio Johno's. I knew it was going to be a good night when the man delivering food saw all the Nussle signs, asked "He's a Republican, right?" and then informed me "He's going to win." Not very often you hear unsolicited praise of Republicans in Johnson County (but then again, he was waiting for us to give him a big check)

While folks were making their way through the serving line and eating, Nussle worked his from table-to-table visiting with everyone. Once every had their food, the program got underway with a quick welcome and introduction by Johnson County Chair Todd Versteegh.

Nussle gave an energetic and rousing speech, talking about the five main challenges facing the state. Since he had been stranded in O'Hare airport for a good part of the day, he had some new interesting stories from the people who he talked to about why they moved to Iowa. As I've said before, I think that this is one of the most critical long-term issues for our state, so I really appreciate the focus that Jim has made on helping people "Choose Iowa."

The Press-Citizen did a pretty good job with its coverage of Nussle, so you can check them out for more info.

The article includes a quote from an independent who came to hear from Nussle and liked what he heard. We actually saw a large number of new faces at the event, which I think goes to show the broad base of support that Jim is attracting -- not just Republicans, but Independents and fair-minded Democrats.

Speaking of independents, independent Senate Candidate Jay Christensen-Szalanski was also in attendance, seeking support for his campaign against Democrat Senator Joe Bolkcom.

After the speech, Jim had time to visit with Dorree Eckhoff, Bob Vander Plaats's former county chair and now the co-chair of the Nussle-Vander Plaats Campaign in the county. He also stopped to listen to some younger Republican supporters.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette's political reporter, Jim Lynch, was also in attendance and interviewed Nussle after his speech. I have not yet seen his report, but will post a link if it's not locked behind their subscribers-only website.

UPDATE 5/15: Here's the Gazette's story.

Also shown in the photo to the left is a recent addition to the Nussle Campaign, Senior Counsel Pete Jeffries. Johnson County Republicans are especially proud to have Pete back in Iowa, since he is a graduate of the University of Iowa, and his parents live here in Iowa City.

Awesome event, awesome turnout. Good job JCR's.
I'm gonna be posting about the Northey v. Leonard presence at the event -- check back shortly.
Waiting pateintly.....
Excellent event, thank you JC GOP!

For my take on Leonard vs. Northey, check out
Evidently Northey didn't make much of a showing. Was anyone else there?
Sorry for the delay folks, Northey v. Leonard is now a new thread in the article above. I hope you'll discuss, because I know a lot of folks that could use some persuasion one way or the other.
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