Former President Trump announced his campaign leadership team in Iowa on Monday — a move that comes as the former president has spent recent weeks in other early presidential primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Trump has hired Eric Branstad and state Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R) as senior advisers and Marshall Moreau as his state director, and named Alex Latcham as his early states director. He’ll head political operations in South Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada and Iowa.
Branstad worked on the former president’s last two presidential campaigns in the state in addition to working under the Trump administration as a Commerce Department senior adviser. Latcham also worked under the Trump administration as a deputy White House political director in the White House Political Office.
“As Democrats destroy decades of tradition, we must always protect Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation Caucuses,” Trump said in a statement issued through his campaign.
“I’m the one who did it this time and you will always be first with me. It was my great honor to get $28 billion for our farmers, as China took advantage of them for years. And don’t forget the USMCA, replacement to the horrible NAFTA. With this incredible team of skilled professionals and their deep ties to Iowa, we will earn a dominant victory in the caucuses next year.”
Trump’s campaign appointments come following recent coverage that the former president has been largely absent from the state in recent weeks and as he’s made trips to other key, early presidential primary states like South Carolina and New Hampshire.
Last month, he unveiled his leadership team in South Carolina, which included Gov. Henry McMaster (R) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). Former New Hampshire GOP Chair Stephen Stepanek will be a senior adviser to the former president in the state, according to Politico. Republicans who had been involved in Trump’s past campaigns who spoke to Politico in late January expressed concerns with Trump’s lack of New Hampshire campaign infrastructure; Trump’s distance from Iowa has also been brought up among some within the GOP in Iowa in interviews with The Associated Press.
The moves also come as other prospective and declared GOP presidential hopefuls are making visits to the Hawkeye State, like declared contender Nikki Haley; Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) for his listening tour, which will stop in the state; and former Vice President Mike Pence at a recent event at a Pizza Ranch in Cedar Rapids.