Top conservative lawmakers to headline NH rally

Two conservative heavyweights in Congress will travel to New Hampshire later this month to headline a political event in the key early primary state.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) will deliver keynote addresses at the April 30 "First in the Nation Freedom Forum," an event sponsored by We The People, a right-wing nonprofit group.

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According to the group's president, Jennifer Horn, the event will feature three "top tier" candidates, but she would not reveal their names.

The announcement comes as the presidential campaign is heating up: President Obama officially announced his reelection campaign Monday morning, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty became the first potential GOP candidate to form an exploratory committee late last month.

Horn, a New Hampshire-based political activist, said the group plans to host hundreds of activists at the event, who will be able to interact with the candidates and lawmakers.

"I'm excited about the grassroots movement in New Hampshire that will help save our country from massive spending, bailouts, and debt that are destroying it," DeMint said in a statement.

DeMint and King both played major roles during the 2010 campaign season, appealing to Tea Party activists and offering political support to their favored candidates. They appear to be ready to reprise those roles in 2012. 

Some observers had speculated that DeMint could run for president, but he ruled out a run last month. 

Being from Iowa, another key early primary state, King is looking to become a conservative power-broker as well in 2012. He hosted a political forum in the Hawkeye State late last month, which drew several potential candidates as well as DeMint.