Hello, 2016! Marco Rubio headed to Iowa

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Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will headline a birthday fundraiser for Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad next week, a spokesman for the governor announced Thursday.

The speaking gig will no doubt stir talk of a potential 2016 presidential bid for Rubio, as the event provides the first-term senator the chance to mingle with the Republican class in Iowa, the first state to hold caucuses in a presidential election.

At last year’s fundraiser, six of the Republican presidential hopefuls had a speaking slot, with the exception of Mitt Romney. Newt Gingrich showed up late to the event, and did not give remarks.

The governor’s spokesperson, Tim Albrecht told ABC News that Branstad invited Rubio “a couple of months ago” and is “excited he accepted.”

A rising star in the Republican Party, Rubio was vetted for the GOP vice presidential spot and served as a top surrogate for Mitt Romney, particularly among the Latino voting bloc.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.