(CNN) – 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.
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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.
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.
– CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.