DES MOINES, Iowa -- Friday at 9 a.m. Governor Branstad will be sworn in inside the Community Choice Credit Union’s Ballroom putting him on track to becoming the longest-serving governor in U.S. history. From there he has a jam-packed day with open houses and celebrations and it will all wrap up where it started for his inaugural ball.
This ball isn’t just a celebration, it’s a fundraiser for the Branstad-Reynolds Scholarship Fund. In 2011 the governor’s inaugural ball raised around $700,000 for the charity. Branstad’s ball is funded by private donations and costs significantly less than past Iowa governor inaugurations. However officials say Friday night will be the biggest inauguration ball this state has ever seen with more than 2,000 people attending. Costing $75 a plate the inauguration ball sold out less than a week ago.
In addition to having Governor Chris Christie attend, organizers are expecting lots of major Iowa leaders from both parties. Communications director for the 2015 inauguration, Tommy Schultz says tonight everyone is putting politics aside. "This event is about Iowa. It's not necessarily about one individual. It’s about the state. It’s about the future and so we've made sure to be careful to emphasize that as well as to make sure it's about charity. Its above party politics and all the money that goes into the inauguration the net proceeds will go towards the scholarships,” said Schultz.