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RNC Chairman visits Johnson County GOP office

BY KELSEY L JOHNSON | SEPTEMBER 07, 2012 6:30 AM

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Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus visited the GOP Victory Office in Coralville on Thursday afternoon to recognize the office for leading the number of Republican volunteer hours in the state.

“Iowa is important,” said Keith Steurer, the volunteer director for the Romney campaign in Johnson County. “It’s not just a swing state. We are on the verge of many things for this election.”

Steurer said the office has had record-breaking volunteer numbers recently. The office made 12,000 phone calls and knocked on 3,000 doors in the county on Aug. 4. Steurer could not say where the office sits on a national level exactly, but he said it is near the top.

Liz Purchia, the press secretary for the Obama campaign in Iowa, said the 60 Democratic offices across the state are also increasing in volunteer numbers, although she could not give any figures. She said the volume of volunteer hours for the Republican offices in Johnson County is hilarious.

“We’re in the final sprint right now,” Purchia said. “Early voting begins on Sept. 27, and that’s where our focus is.”

Purchia added that the campaign strategy in Iowa City focuses on making calls, meeting people and talking, and utilizing social media.

Steurer said some students are becoming more active in the Republican Party because of issues such as unemployment and the economy, issues at the forefront for students.

Katherine Valde, the president of UI College Democrats, agreed many young voters are showing a significant amount of passion and interest in the candidates, although they are significantly different.

Valde said Iowa City has the unique opportunity to host many of the candidates for this election.
Obama will be in Iowa City again today, accompanied this time by wife Michelle as well as Vice President Joe Biden and wife Jill. The event will start around 5:20 p.m. today on the Jessup Hall lawn. Tickets are required for admission, and the gates will open at 1 p.m.

“There is a reason that the first stop after the Democratic National Convention is Iowa, and there is a reason that Paul Ryan was in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday,” Steurer said.

Obama’s platform focuses on restoring the economy through tax cuts to middle class Americans up to their first $250,000 of income.

Quentin Marquez, the co-head of the UI College Republicans, said he believes Obama has not fulfilled his promises.

“President Obama cannot tell Americans that we’re better off now than we were four years ago. He just hasn’t lived up to the promise of a better America,” Marquez said.

Priebus contended that the upcoming election is going to be a battle for the country because of Obama’s election platform.

“This is a battle for freedom in our country,” he said.


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