Last updated on November 10th, 2023 at 03:45 am
DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds is all set to host a series of “Fair-Side Chats” with Republican presidential candidates at the State Fair.
The one-on-one style interviews, to be held at JR’s SouthPork Ranch, will run from August 10 to August 18, providing fairgoers with a unique opportunity to learn more about the candidates and their policy priorities.
"I am so proud that I get to have the opportunity to introduce these candidates to Iowans at an event so near and dear to my heart," said Gov. Reynolds.
“The Iowa State Fair showcases the best of Iowa – from our people to our culture and wonderful agriculture industry – and it’s the perfect venue for a conversation with the candidates.”
Iowans have the opportunity to participate in the “Fair-Side Chats” by submitting questions for the candidates through a designated platform here.
Gov. Reynolds has invited all major Republican presidential candidates, with the exception of former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who has chosen to prioritize campaigning in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two other early nominating states.
The Current Full Fair-Side Chats Schedule is as Follows:
Thursday, August 10:
10:30 AM: Larry Elder
Friday, August 11:
8:30 AM: Gov. Doug Burgum
9:30 AM: Vice President Mike Pence
10:30 AM: Mayor Francis Suarez
Saturday, August 12:
8:30 AM: Vivek Ramaswamy
9:30 AM: Amb. Nikki Haley
10:30 AM: Gov. Ron DeSantis
Tuesday, August 15:
8:30 AM: Gov. Asa Hutchinson
9:30 AM: Ryan Binkley
10:30 AM: Sen. Tim Scott
Friday, August 18:
9:30 AM: Perry Johnson
10:30 AM: Will Hurd
The purpose of the “Fair-Side Chats” is to allow the public to get to know the candidates on a personal level and gain insights into their policy stances. Gov. Reynolds plans to keep the questions consistent for all candidates, ensuring a fair and equitable approach. She also hinted at the possibility of asking some fun and interesting questions to make the interviews engaging for both candidates and fairgoers.
While most of Trump’s competitors, including DeSantis, have agreed to individual interviews with Iowa’s Republican Governor Kim Reynolds at the state fair between August 11 and August 18, Trump has opted not to participate. Trump’s decision follows his dissatisfaction with Reynolds’ public stance of neutrality in the primary race, as well as her joint appearances with DeSantis at various Iowa events.
Notably, Reynolds’ public schedule indicates that Trump will not be part of the “Fairside Chats,” an event organized by her political team for GOP presidential contenders to engage in public conversations with the governor at the State Fair.
Last month, Trump publicly criticized Reynolds for what he perceived as her close ties to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign, despite her declaration of remaining impartial in the caucus campaign.
This decision comes amidst reported tensions between Mr. Trump and Gov. Reynolds, who has not endorsed him. A Trump Campaign Spokesman, Steven Cheung, expressed the former president’s eagerness to interact with Iowans at the fair but stated that he prefers an “open and unfiltered setting.”
Donald Trump’s past appearances at the Iowa State Fair have drawn significant attention. In 2015, he made headlines by flying a helicopter over the fairgrounds and drawing large crowds while walking through the fair on the same day as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders’ appearances.
As the front-runner in the GOP race, Trump’s absence raises questions about the impact of the event on the Republican primary race in Iowa and other early nominating states. The “Fair-Side Chats” hold significance in shaping the political landscape in Iowa and introducing the GOP presidential candidates to the state’s voters.
Despite the current schedule, Gov. Reynolds notes that it is subject to change, which may present opportunities or challenges for the event. The “Fair-Side Chats” hold the potential to influence voters’ decisions and play a crucial role in the candidates’ campaigns as they seek support in their bid for the Republican nomination.
Iowans can look forward to engaging in conversations with major Republican candidates during the “Fair-Side Chats,” providing valuable insights into their potential leaders and shaping the course of the Republican primary race in the early nominating states.