The future of the Republican Party in the Quad Cities and nationwide was in the spotlight Tuesday, November 12, 2013 as the Scott County Republican Party hosted its annual Ronald Reagan Dinner.
The event was held at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf. Many from the Republican Party attended including Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Iowa state legislators, and former United States Senator Scott Brown.
With 320 people spending $50 per person or a table of eight for $400, Tuesday’s dinner was as much a fundraiser as it was a preview for the 2014 elections.
"We're focusing tonight on that Senate race in 2014,” said Scott County Republican Chair Judy Davidson.
Four U.S. Senate candidates - Joni Ernst, Scott Schaben, David Young, Matt Whitaker and U.S. Congressional candidate Mark Lofgren - all asked the crowd for their vote. The main topic discussed was the budget. But beyond the budget was another message for the Republican Party from the night’s keynote speaker, former Senator Scott Brown.
"The key I think is to be more inclusive,” said Brown, "We need to find a way not to vilify each other in the party if we have a difference of opinion.”
This is Brown’s second trip to Iowa in 2013, raising speculation about his future plans. When asked about plans to run for President, Brown said, “Oh, this is not about me. I'm here, traveling around the country, around the world actually, to bring forward my message of unity, trying to tell people that we can do it better. We need to do it differently to do it better, however. So it's really too early to talk about anything like that."
While it may be too early to talk about his future, many at the dinner were focusing on the Republican party’s future.