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Donald Trump's decision spurns Iowa Republicans

May 16, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli | Washington Bureau
  • Donald Trump, shown at an appearance in Las Vegas in April, ruled himself out of the presidential sweepstakes Monday.
Donald Trump, shown at an appearance in Las Vegas in April, ruled himself… (Julie Jacobson, Associated…)

Reporting from Washington   — When many suspected Donald Trump's talk of a presidential run was nothing but self-serving bluster, the Iowa Republican Party's announcement that he was headlining their annual Lincoln Dinner fundraising offered the best evidence to date that he was actually taking it seriously.

Now that Trump has taken himself out of contention, Iowa Republicans can't help but feel left at the altar.

"While our invitation to Mr. Trump never hinged on a potential Trump candidacy, Iowans responded enthusiastically and with great interest in his appearance," Iowa GOP spokesman Casey Mills said in a statement Monday afternoon. "Today, it is our understanding that Mr. Trump is reassessing his commitment."

Though Trump hasn't made a final decision about attending the dinner, the Iowa party says it anticipates that news will come Tuesday.

The party initially announced Trump as the featured speaker in March, saying his recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference "caught the attention" of party activists in the first-in-the-nation caucus state.

It also trumpeted a "very high level of demand" for tickets, which ranged from $100 for general seating to $1,500 for a table of 10 that included two tickets for a private reception with Trump.

The event was set for June 10 in Des Moines.

Assuming Trump does cancel, the party should have no shortage of actual Republican candidates eager to step in. Several candidates and would-be candidates have already headlined smaller party fundraisers.

michael.memoli@latimes.com

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