Perry to attend Polk County picnic in Iowa

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry will return to Iowa this weekend to attend Polk County Republicans' summer picnic at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

Perry is the fourth candidate confirming his attendance at the event, which will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Jalapeno Pete's restaurant. Polk County Republicans received confirmation of his attendance this morning.

Former New York Gov. George Pataki, Texas U.S. Rep. Paul and Michigan U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter will also be there.

For Perry, who just entered the race Aug. 13 as other candidates competed in the Ames Straw Poll, this weekend will mark his second visit to Iowa in two weeks. Recent polls show he is a front-runner in the race for the 2012 Republican nomination for president.

Attendance by the Texas governor will further raise the profile of the central Iowa event. Pataki, who served as New York's governor for three consecutive terms, is also expected to make a "major announcement" there.

"This event promises to be lively," said Polk County Republican Chairman Kevin McLaughlin.

Lynn Campbell covers politics and government for IowaPolitics.com, which is owned by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.

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