Iowa: Hastert Is Helping Boswell Challenger

Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:29pm

Former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) is going to the mat for a former champion wrestling coach who is challenging Rep. Leonard Boswell (D).

Hastert, who also has a long affiliation with wrestling, will appear at a March 17 fundraiser for fellow Republican Jim Gibbons at the Des Moines home of former Rep. Greg Ganske (R), another ex-wrestler who represented much of the district Boswell now holds.

“Speaker Hastert and I are hosting this event for Jim to help him win his primary and then beat Congressman Boswell,” Ganske said in a statement released by Gibbons’ campaign.

Hastert and Ganske already have anted up to Gibbons’ campaign: Hastert with a $5,000 check from his Keep Our Mission political action committee on Dec. 21 and Ganske with a $1,000 personal contribution on Nov. 30.

That helped Gibbons post $207,000 in total receipts after six weeks as a candidate, by far the most money in a five-candidate GOP field that also includes state Sen. Brad Zaun, aviation security consultant Dave Funk, retired architect Mark Rees and psychiatrist Pat Bertroche.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has singled out Gibbons as an “on the radar” candidate in its “Young Guns” recruitment program.