- U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint’s keynote speech next month to an Iowa forum for Republican presidential candidates has fueled hopes among some evangelicals and conservative activists that the South Carolinian will launch a White House run.
DeMint, overwhelmingly elected to his second Senate term in November, will deliver the evening banquet address to a dozen GOP presidential hopefuls — and hundreds of party stalwarts — March 26 at a Des Moines hotel, scarcely 10 months before Iowa’s leadoff presidential House caucuses.
In the audience will be Steve Scheffler, a Republican National Committee member from Iowa and an influential evangelical in the Midwestern state.
Scheffler would like to see DeMint, dubbed “the Tea Party senator” for his unyielding conservatism and fervent opposition to President Barack Obama, throw his hat into the Oval Office ring.
“He’s very highly regarded among activists,” Scheffler said. “His running would add a lot to the dialogue, not only in Iowa but across the country. I think he’s a voice that needs to be heard.”