Pataki for President: The Polk County Republicans are getting some more company for dinner. Organizers heard back from the campaigns of Texas Congressman Ron Paul and Michigan Congressman Thad McCotter that both would attend. But this week the guest list has grown. Finance Director Darrell Kearney said he got a call from former New York Governor George Pataki’s people. Pataki was taking him up on the invite to appear at Saturday’s Second Annual Summer Picnic at Jalapeno Pete’s on the Iowa State Fairgrounds. And Kearney expects Pataki will make a major announcement. He said, “They told me I could not say he was a candidate. They told me that might come at the end of the week, implied they had a very important announcement to make.”
Pataki briefly explored a presidential run in the 2008 election. (I think the first time I ever interviewed him it happened at the fairgrounds in 2006).
Kearney said after he found out Pataki would come to the dinner he got a phone call announcing a change of plans for Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry’s spokesperson had told him previously Perry would not come to the dinner. But Tuesday morning, Kearney got a call to say Perry would come after all. Kearney, a long-time party activist, said, “A lot of times it takes only one candidate to start it rolling. Then, all of a sudden, all the other candidates feel they want to get in on the crowd.”
Kearney said he already heard back from the campaigns of Herman Cain and Rick Santorum that they wouldn’t be attending. He said he still hadn’t heard back from Michele Bachmann’s people, so he has no idea what she is doing. Kearney said he also reached out to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s people but no response.