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Republicans take aim at annual trap shoot event

Ben Miller, co chair of the Jasper County Republicans catches up with congressional candidate Dr. Chris 
Peters during Saturday’s trap shoot fundraiser in Newton.
Ben Miller, co chair of the Jasper County Republicans catches up with congressional candidate Dr. Chris Peters during Saturday’s trap shoot fundraiser in Newton.

The fourth annual Jasper County Republicans trap shooting fundraiser started off with a bang on Saturday morning as residents took aim at clay pigeons. The event, which gives residents a chance to meet and mingle with Republican representatives drew a crowd despite wet, rainy weather. Jasper County Republican chair Thad Nearmyer said the event, one of the group’s biggest fundraisers, is one the most important of the year.

“We want to get people who are excited about celebrating the Second Amendment,” Nearmyer said.

While Nearmyer admitted he’s much more interested in sprint car racing than shooting, having the chance to take home a trophy for bragging rights is something that most folks can’t pass up. In recent years, the group has also added additional activities to the event to give it more of a tailgating feel to match the fall weather. Moo’s BBQ brought plenty of food, and attendees could listen to the Iowa State game on the radio between shotgun blasts.

“It’s not my cup of tea at all, but the event’s such a good fundraiser we want to keep it going,” Nearmyer said. “It’s more than just shooting, people get a chance to visit with lawmakers too.”

Several local Republican representatives were on hand, as well as a few hopefuls. Cedar Rapids mayor Ron Corbett, a Newton native and Republican candidate for governor, was one of several Republican candidates who made an appearance Saturday morning. Corbett, who’s been racking more than 1,000 miles a month as he campaigns for the governor’s office said he was glad to have a chance to come back to his hometown for a visit.

“After high school I went to college more to play football than anything else, my parents worked at the plant, and so did a lot of people I went to high school with,” Corbett said.

This is only the second time that Corbett has been able to attend the event, and even though he admitted he was a little rusty, he was still looking forward to participating. Sporting a red and black Newton Cardinals hat, Corbett said after 11 days at the Iowa State Fair and a summer spent campaigning it was good to get back to his roots.

“I love coming back to Newton, and having a chance to see the progress that’s been made since Maytag closed,” Corbett said.

Amy Sinclair, state senator for District 14, said she couldn’t agree more with Corbett. Even though she had to leave early without shooting on Saturday, Sinclair said the annual trap shoot is one event that she tries not to miss every year.

“It’s a great way to get together and get to know people that I represent,” Sinclair said.

While Nearmyer said the event itself doesn’t generate that much fundraising for the group, it does draw in donors who’ve helped support the group in the past. Between rounds visitors have a chance to hobnob with representatives, getting a chance to hear what’s going on straight from the source.

Contact David Dolmage at 641-792-3121 ext. 6532 or

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