Iowa Hearts Huckabee at Reagan Dinner

From the Iowa Independent
Huckabee, Thompson Energize Crowd At Reagan Dinner
by: Jay Wagner
Sunday (10/28) at 07:30 AM [I4H editor Bolded]

Fred Thompson may have gotten more laughs during his speech, but surging Mike Huckabee received the only genuine standing ovation of the night when six Republican presidential candidates spoke to attendees at the annual Reagan Dinner at Hy-Vee Hall in downtown Des Moines.

The $100-a-plate Reagan Dinner the last of three big events leading up to the caucuses, provided a rare chance for party activists to hear six of nine presidential candidates pitch their conservative credentials.

Thompson and Huckabee were the only top-tier candidates to attend; also speaking at the event were Duncan Hunter, John Cox, Tom Tancredo, and Ron Paul. Mitt Romney, who leads polls in the state, sent his wife Ann to address the crowd. Rudy Giuliani and John McCain campaigned outside of the state.

The event is important because it draws attendees from across the state, party activists who will play strong roles in their local caucuses. "Every person in this audience is a leader in their local precinct," said Ted Sporer, chairman of the Polk County Republican Party. "These are people whose voices will be heard in their caucuses and so it's important to gain their support."
Steve Roberts, a Des Moines attorney who sits on the Republican National Committee, said Huckabee turned in the strongest performance of the night and continues to demonstrate his skills as a seasoned speaker. He said Thompson's folksy speaking style was also appealing to the crowd.

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