Boehner looks to Iowa to grow majority
© Francis Rivera

Next stop on Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE’s 2014 campaign tour: Iowa.

The Ohio Republican will swing through the Hawkeye State on Sunday and Monday to attend campaign rallies and headline private fundraisers for three surging GOP House candidates — David Young, Rod Blum and Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

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On Sunday afternoon, BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerIs Congress retrievable? Boehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader MORE will be in Urbandale, just outside Des Moines, to fire up supporters and campaign volunteers working to elect Young, GOP Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyGOP braces for impeachment brawl PhRMA CEO warns Pelosi bill to lower drug prices would be 'devastating' for industry GOP requests update on criminal referrals prompted by 2018 Kavanaugh probe MORE’s former top aide who’s running to replace retiring Republican Rep. Tom Latham in the 3rd District. The Republican hopeful is in a toss-up contest with Democrat Staci Appel. 

Then on Monday, the Speaker heads to Hiawatha for a rally with Blum, a Dubuque businessman who’s vying to replace Democratic Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell Braley2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster OPINION | Tax reform, not Trump-McConnell feuds, will make 2018 a win for GOP Ten years later, House Dems reunite and look forward MORE, the Senate candidate, in the 1st District against former state Speaker Patrick Murphy (D). 

And later that day, Boehner will stump with Miller-Meeks, an Army veteran and ophthalmologist who previously led the Iowa Department of Public Health. She’s the GOP nominee in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District, trying for a third time to unseat Rep. Dave Loebsack (D). 

Republicans believe both the 1st and 2nd Districts are increasingly competitive for them, and on Tuesday the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added $420,000 in TV time that could be used to defend either district. The National Republican Congressional Committee said it will spend $1.3 million on TV ads in the Blum and Miller-Meeks races, with the first ads rolling out Friday, local news outlets reported.

Iowa's just the latest stop on Boehner’s monthslong tour to boost GOP candidates and help grow the party’s 17-seat majority in the House. In recent weeks, he's hit the campaign trail in New York, New Hampshire, Maine, California, Arizona, Texas and Florida.

"Speaker Boehner is focused on making the most of every opportunity down this final stretch,” said Cory Fritz, a spokesman for Boehner’s political operation. “Momentum is with Republicans across Iowa, and we've got a real shot to pick up wins."

Boehner has been a prolific fundraiser this cycle, raking in nearly $100 million through his various committees. Just this week, the Speaker transferred $1.3 million from his committees to the NRCC, bringing his total transfers to the House GOP’s campaign arm to $23 million for the ‘14 cycle.

On his Facebook page Thursday night, Boehner posted a link to a National Review story that said Republicans were leading Democrats in early ballots cast in Iowa for the first time ever.

“Encouraging news in Iowa — gotta keep it up,” Boehner wrote.