DES MOINES — Hillary Rodham Clinton will headline a high-profile fund-raiser next month in Iowa, the nation’s first presidential caucus state, creating a big campaign splash as Democrats scramble to hold a key Senate seat in November and the former secretary of state considers a campaign of her own in 2016.
Clinton and former president Bill Clinton will attend retiring Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Indianola on Sept. 14, Iowa Democrats said Monday. It will be Hillary Clinton’s first appearance in Iowa since 2008, when she finished a disappointing third in the state’s presidential caucuses.
Clinton has urged Democrats to mobilize for November’s midterm elections, and party officials said she would probably appear at other events around the country to help the party’s major fund-raising committees.
Harkin’s steak fry, an event that draws thousands of grass-roots activists each year and future presidential campaign staff and volunteers, could be among the biggest such events, potentially serving as the unofficial start of Clinton’s second presidential bid. Early polls show her as the leading candidate to succeed President Obama, her one-time rival.
Clinton is ‘‘looking forward to campaigning for her Democratic friends and colleagues and to helping the effort to move America forward,’’ her spokesman Nick Merrill said, adding that she would ‘‘help raise money for important races in Iowa.’’
Iowa’s Senate race pits Democrat Bruce Braley against Republican Joni Ernst in a campaign to succeed Harkin, who has held the seat for three decades.