Pictured from left to right are Marion County Attorney Ed Bull, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), Barbara Grassley, Sen. Amy Sinclair, Rep. Greg Heartsill and Marion County Supervisor Mark Raymie. 

The Marion County Republicans held at event Saturday at the Coffee Connection in Knoxville. 

Among the guests present was Barbara Grassley wife of Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is seeking re-election to the United States Senate. Grassley was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980. 

“You never go in expecting to lose, but it can happen," Mrs. Grassley told the Journal-Express. Chuck Grassley's opponent this year is former Lt. Governor Patty Judge. While Sen. Grassley has won by large margins in past elections, polls are tighter this year. 

“A lot of people don't know he lost his first election," Mrs. Grassley said. She shared the story of Sen. Grassley's first campaign, which was for the Iowa House in 1956. He did not let that get him down, as he ran again in 1958 and won. The rest is political history. 

Mrs. Grassley touted her husband's visits to every county, every year and the work he has done on behalf of Iowans. 

“He's served the people of Iowa well all these years," Mrs. Grassley said. “I think he's done a sterling job.”

Mrs. Grassley was joined at the event by another special guest on Sen. Grassley's behalf, first-term Sen. David Perdue of Georgia. Perdue serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, for which Grassley serves as chair. 

Perdue told the crowd of the success of the committee, under Grassley's leadership, in getting legislation signed into law. Meanwhile, Grassley has to lead a "murderer's row" of liberal Senators, including Patrick Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin. 

“In judiciary, under Chuck Grassley, we have been very productive,” Perdue said. 

Perdue spent more time sharing reasons why he supports Republican Donald Trump for President. Perdue believes that Trump could be a great leader, has great kids, surrounds himself with good people, likes his choices for the Supreme Court, wants to unleash the energy potential of the country and improve America's economy.

The stage was then handed to Dr. Christopher Peters, who is challenging Rep. Dave Loebsack for Iowa's Second Congressional District. Peters is a surgeon, a small business owner, a husband, father and a veteran. 

“It's been quite a journey," Peters said of his campaign the past six months. 

“I am not a professional politician. I'm still pretty darn green," Peters added. He said one of the differences between Loebsack and himself is his belief that Americans can run their own lives with minimal governmental intervention. Peters pointed out that Loebsack was one of the first to endorse Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, and served as a superdelegate for Clinton. 

Local officials seeking reelection, Sen. Amy Sinclair and Rep. Greg Heartsill, were given the opportunity to address the crowd as well. Sinclair was joined by her three children. 

“For once I have more kids in a room than Representative Heartsill," she joked. 

Sinclair told the crowd that Senate Republicans' priorities, if the party takes control of the chamber, include measuring the success of the education reform bill, examining Iowa's tax and regulatory environment - and how it might affect economic development, and making decisions regarding the future of government spending. The Revenue Estimating Conference has indicated that Iowa will have $50 million less revenue than originally expected. 

“Which means funds are gone," Sinclair said. Good fiscal decisions must be made by the next Legislature, she believes. 

Heartsill expounded on the need for fiscal responsibility, and the work the House has done to bring budgeting principles to the chamber. This includes spending less than the State takes in and not using one-time funding for ongoing expenses. He believes that the State is still feeling the effects of promises by Democrats that exceeded ability. 

Heartsill also discussed the need for legislators to work together to get things done. 

“Sometimes you have to put aside the credit to get legislation through," Heartsill said. 

Also speaking Saturday was Coffee Connection owner and Marion County Supervisor, Mark Raymie, who is unopposed on the ballot. Marion County Attorney Ed Bull introduced the speakers and led the event. 

Steve Woodhouse is the Editor of the Knoxville Journal-Express. He can be reached at

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