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DES MOINES — Joni Ernst’s 2015 Roast and Ride, her inaugural summer fundraiser, was all about Iowa Republicans getting a chance to hear from many of the GOP candidates seeking the party’s presidential nomination.

This year’s event, which will be held a little more than two months before the general election, seems likely to take on a campaign rally atmosphere.

And Ernst said she hopes the Republican candidate for president is there to lead the charge.

Ernst, the freshman Republican U.S. senator from Iowa, on Wednesday announced Aug. 27 for her second Roast and Ride.

Once again, the event will feature a motorcycle ride, food, games and political speakers.

Last year’s inaugural event featured a ride from Des Moines to the Central Iowa Expo in Boone plus seven Republican candidates for president.

This year’s motorcycle ride will start at Big Barn Harley Davidson in Des Moines and will end at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.

By Aug. 27, the GOP will have its presidential nominee and Ernst hopes that nominee attends her event.

“Yes, of course, I am hopeful that the nominee would consider coming to the Roast and Ride,” Ernst said Wednesday in an interview. “Once we have a nominee, we’ll send that invitation out.”

Ernst said she also will invite other Republican federal and state candidates to speak at the event with the hopes of exciting GOP voters about the upcoming election.

“I hope that we’re able to rally our Republican and even some of our independent voters and get them excited about the upcoming election in November,” Ernst said. “We would love to see a Republican serving in the White House and working on areas that Iowans feel are important. …

“We want to get people excited and just re-emphasize how important it is that they are involved and getting out and going to the polls and supporting our nominee and all of those down-ticket candidates as well.”

More details, including a list of speakers, will be announced as the event draws closer.

Ernst said some of the funds from tickets purchased for the motorcycle ride will benefit a veterans organization. She said last year’s event raised $15,000 for America’s Fund, which provides resources and financial support to veterans.


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