Iowa straw poll write-in effort launched to help Perry

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 26, 2011  comments  Print Reprints

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AUSTIN -- A political action committee organized by a conservative New York economist has launched a Rick Perry write-in campaign for Iowa's upcoming straw poll of Republican presidential contenders.

David Malpass, who waged an unsuccessful U.S. Senate race in New York last year, said the campaign is aimed at encouraging Perry to become a full-fledged candidate in the 2012 presidential race. The Texas governor is seriously considering that possibility and is expected to announce a decision within weeks.

Perry's interest in the race has stoked considerable buzz about his potential candidacy, but neither he nor former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was among the six candidates placed on the ballot for the April 13 straw poll at Ames, Iowa. The straw poll is considered an important early test before next year's Iowa caucuses.

In a telephone interview Tuesday, Malpass said he heard Perry speak at a recent Republican dinner in New York City and "was very impressed" with Perry's economic record and "his focus on freedom" and state sovereignty.

Malpass' political action committee, GrowPAC, began running radio ads this week in Des Moines and Ames urging Iowans to write Perry's name on the straw poll ballot. "Rick Perry understands the 10th Amendment and has the backbone to bring an upheaval to Washington," Malpass says in the ads.

Malpass served in the Treasury and State departments under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He said he launched his write-in campaign without consulting the governor's office.

"We appreciate the encouragement from people around the country," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said. Malpass' efforts are unrelated to Americans for Rick Perry, an independent group formed in Iowa to boost support for a potential Perry presidential bid.

Dave Montgomery is the Star-Telegram's Austin bureau chief. 512-476-4294

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