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Sights and Sounds at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Dinner

Posted: September 22, 2015 | By: Logan Kentner Tagged: From the Campaign Trail
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The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Dinner, held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Photo by Logan Kentner.

The Annual Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition Dinner was held on Sept. 19 in Des Moines. I was lucky enough to receive very good tickets located in the front row. They were amazing seats and it helped me appreciate the night much more.

I arrived before the doors opened, so I stood outside and talked with different people. While waiting I talked to a group of young men from Creighton Preparatory High School from Omaha. They were there for their young Republicans group they were involved with. The conversations I had with these young, politically active guys were very interesting. All of them had different opinions on different candidates. Relative to the night, however, they all had similar ideas of how the event would go. They all agreed Ted Cruz would be extremely passionate about the issues the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition stands for. Also, like many people, they were interested to see how Donald Trump’s speech would go. Talking to these young men and listening to their opinions was definitely a great start to the night.

After getting inside, I made several observations. It was hard to believe that less than one month before I had stood in the exact same spot, in the exact same building watching mother cows give birth to calves. This was part of the Iowa State Fair’s Animal Learning Center, where it showcases a variety of pregnant animals to show young fairgoers the birthing process. Converting such this space to hold a sophisticated political event is something you are only able to find in Iowa.

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Former presidential candidate Scott Walker addresses the crowd Sept. 19 at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition dinner. Photo by Logan Ketner.

After I sat down in my assigned seat I began eating. While stuffing my face with some quality fried chicken, I was startled to feel a hand on my shoulder. Thinking it was someone I knew, I turned around to finish chewing and begin talking. Instead, it was presidential candidate Rick Santorum mingling throughout the crowd.  As I finished my dinner, Cruz was walking through the crowd and stopped right beside my table to mingle and take pictures with people.

Following a booming Star Spangled Banner, the speakers started at 5:15 p.m. The speakers consisted of most of the Republican presidential candidates as well as several of Iowa’s fine elected officials. Most of their speeches focused on religious liberty. Defunding Planned Parenthood was also a major topic. All of the speeches wrapped up around 10 p.m.  

All in all, the event was an extremely good one. It had all the characteristics of an Iowa political event during caucus season. The dinner was extremely laid back and led to discussion at many of the tables but was still formal enough to host the governor and other elected officials. I cannot wait to continue attending similar events.