Two Senate Republicans viewed as likely 2016 presidential contenders are scheduled to address GOP loyalists in Iowa and New Hampshire this summer. The two states traditionally kick off the first presidential electoral contests—Iowa hosts party caucuses, and New Hampshire typically follows with the first primary.
The Iowa State Republican Party announced Friday that Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will deliver the keynote address at the party's July Summer Picnic in Des Moines, an annual fundraiser that brings top Iowa Republicans together each year.
"Ted Cruz is, without a doubt, a leader Iowans will want to meet," Iowa GOP Chairman A.J. Spiker said in a written statement.
Last month, Cruz headlined the South Carolina Republican Party's annual Silver Elephant Dinner, the party's largest fundraiser. The state holds the first presidential primary in the South.
Next Friday, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who was considered a possible running mate for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney last year, will travel to New Hampshire to lead a roundtable discussion for a Dartmouth alumni group and speak at a $250-per-plate luncheon with New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte sponsored by the state party.