CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser
(CNN) – The Republican Party of Iowa announced Wednesday that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be a keynote speaker at their annual Ronald Reagan dinner next month, along with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.
The announcement from the Iowa Republicans described McDonnell as a “top” surrogate for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Iowa is considered a battleground state in the race for the presidency.
The dinner serves as a major fundraiser for the state party. But thanks to the Iowa caucuses traditional position of kicking off the presidential primary and caucus calendar, the dinner also attracts possible White House contenders.
McDonnell, who was elected governor of Virginia in 2009 and who’s limited to one term in the governor’s mansion in Richmond, is thought to be someone who may entertain a bid for the GOP nomination in 2016 if Romney doesn’t win this year’s presidential election.