Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 26, 2014

Iowa: Potential Candidates Named for Braley’s 1st District

Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley opened the floodgates of ambitious pols eyeing his Iowa district when he announced his Senate bid Thursday.

Hawkeye State operatives expect a deep and competitive field for the Democratic-leaning 1st District, which is anchored by Cedar Rapids, Dubuque and Waterloo in eastern Iowa.

The dominoes tipped last month when Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin announced he would not seek a sixth term, creating the first open-seat Senate race in Iowa in four decades. Braley is the only announced candidate, but GOP Reps. Steve King and Tom Latham are considering bids.

Here’s a look at the early names Democrats floated for Braley’s House seat:

  • State Rep. Tyler Olson, who was just elected state party chairman a few weeks ago, confirmed his interest in the race Thursday with CQ Roll Call. He said: “Sen. Harkin came and announced that he was not going to run again because he thought it was time for some new ideas and fresh faces. I think that’s why he asked me to lead the Democratic Party, and the best way to do that may be a run for Congress.”
  • State Sen. Liz Mathis enjoys a high profile from her time as an evening news anchor in Waterloo.
  • State Rep. Pat Murphy, a former state House speaker, said he would begin a bid for the House as soon as Braley announced his Senate candidacy.
  • State Senate President Pam Jochum told the Des Moines Register recently that she would take a look at the seat.

Republicans are floating these names as possible candidates:

  • 2010 and 2012 GOP nominee Ben Lange
  • Former Cedar Rapids Mayor Paul Pate
  • Businessman Rod Blum, who lost a close primary race with Lange last year
  • craig@robertmorrisgroup.com

    Sources say that Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje is laying the ground work for a serious campaign.

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