Mike Pence’s slow, steady buildup toward a potential 2024 presidential bid is continuing with a trip to Iowa next month.
The former vice president, who has already visited the early nominating state three times since leaving office, will make a two-day swing through Iowa on Aug. 19-20, according to a Pence aide familiar with the planning. Scheduled stops will include a fundraising luncheon with GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, who is running for reelection this year, and a visit to the Iowa State Fair with Grassley and other officials. Pence will attend a house party in West Des Moines hosted by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition.
Pence will also visit Iowa state Sen. Zach Nunn, the GOP nominee for Congress in Iowa’s lone Democratic-held district, and attend a Bremer County GOP fundraiser.
Chip Saltsman, a senior adviser to Pence’s nonprofit group, Advancing American Freedom, is guiding Pence’s path in Iowa and other early states. Saltsman was the campaign manager for Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign, which included victory in the Iowa caucuses.
Pence —who squared off with former President Donald Trump in a split screen of high-profile policy addresses in Washington this week—has also lavished attention on South Carolina and New Hampshire. He has said he will weigh his own potential presidential bid independent of what his former boss does.
The Iowa trip comes as Pence has demonstrated a willingness to push back against Trump in a series of primaries, opposing Trump-endorsed candidates for governor in Georgia, Arizona and, this week, in Wisconsin. On Wednesday, Pence announced his support for Rebecca Kleefisch, the former lieutenant governor under Scott Walker, in her upcoming Aug. 9 primary for governor, while Trump endorsed construction executive Tim Michels.