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Posted at 8:58 a.m. on March 28, 2014
Energy Executive Mark Jacobs, an emerging candidate in a crowded GOP field for Iowa’s open Senate seat, debuted a new ad Friday attacking the de facto Democratic nominee, Rep. Bruce Braley, for recent comments he made about Iowa’s senior senator, Republican Charles E. Grassley.
The 30-second spot features Braley’s comments, which were taped at a fundraiser earlier this year in Texas. At that event, Braley said if Republicans win the Senate, “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law,” would take the gavel on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The ad will air on cable in eastern Iowa, according to Jacobs’ campaign.
Iowa Republicans say Braley’s comments, which were released earlier this week by a Republican research group, will make this Senate seat competitive.
After Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, announced his retirement last year, many political observers believed Democrats would hold the seat. Republicans struggled to recruit a top-flight candidate, and soon the field was filled with little-known GOP contenders.
But Braley’s comments have given Hawkeye State Republicans renewed optimism this race will become more competitive. Also, Republicans say Jacobs and state Sen. Joni Ernst are emerging as the top tier of Republican candidates among the five-candidate field. (Ernst made her own splash this week with an ad in which she touts her experience castrating hogs.)
Iowa’s open Senate seat is rated a Lean Democrat contest by Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.