Republicans in Iowa are calling for “candidates and potential candidates” to participate in the state’s straw poll.
In a public letter published in The Des Moines Register, Polk County Chairman Will Rogers and Linn County Chairwoman Cindy Golding, along with 154 other Republican leaders from roughly 92 counties, reminded GOP presidential candidates about the importance the Iowa Straw poll brings to the first caucus state.
The letter comes as many GOP contenders have decided to ditch the grass roots event. Breitbart News previously reported about the lack of interest from a handful of the GOP candidates.
“As some of the most active and engaged Republicans in Iowa, we are writing to urge you to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll,” they wrote.
The letter stresses that the Iowa Straw poll is a tradition that began in 1979 and has been carried out since that time.
“In the past, the Straw Poll has drawn more than 20,000 caucus-going Iowa activists, which would make it the largest political gathering in the country,” states the letter. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us to meet the men and women running for president, but also an opportunity for you to meet a significant portion of eventual caucus attendees.”
It also addresses the allegations that the Iowa Straw poll has been “pay to play” politics.
“Some say it’s an “establishment” ploy, while others say it’s an event dominated by only the most conservative. Neither accusation is accurate: The Iowa Straw Poll is a grassroots event beloved and revered by Iowa Republicans across the political spectrum. All who participate have a fair chance at victory,” it states, adding that the Republican Party of Iowa has made changes to improve the event.
The Iowa Straw poll will take place in Boone this year on August 8.