Washington (CNN) – In what could become one of the most heated battles of the next Congressional election, Christie Vilsack is exploring a run against conservative Rep. Steve King of Iowa.
The Democratic wife of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Iowa's popular former governor, announced Wednesday that she will form an exploratory committee for a congressional seat in Iowa's newly drawn fourth district.
Vilsack would be vying for the seat of incumbent Steve King, former U.S. Senator and Tea Party favorite, well-known for his conservative positions.
According to the Des Moines Register, voter registration records pin the fourth district as the most Republican leaning of Iowa's four newly drawn districts.
Vilsack recently purchased a home in Ames which is inside the district in northwestern Iowa.
"Serving in Iowa is both a privilege and a responsibility. The decision to run for Congress deserves serious consideration," Vilsack said in a statement. "Next month, I will move to Ames and continue to explore the possibility of representing Iowa in the U.S. House of Representatives."
Vilsack's newly unveiled website tells potential supporters that their "ideas about what we can do together are important to me as I consider running in Iowa's 4th Congressional District."
"It's important to listen to Iowa families about the issues they want addressed in Congress," Vilsack said. "Too often in campaigns, it's the other way around. More than anything, this should be a discussion about Iowa values-the value of work, the value of opportunity and the value of community."
Iowa's former first lady, who has never run for political office, previously served as executive director of the Iowa Initiative, an advocacy group aimed at preventing unwanted pregnancies.
2010 census figures showing slow population growth caused Iowa to lose a congressional district resulting in redistricting throughout the state.
The state's revised configuration places Rep. Steve King in the same district as fellow Republican Rep. Tom Latham. In response, Latham announced his move to the third district, currently under the representation of Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell of Des Moines.
The new configuration also puts Democratic Reps. Dave Loebsack and Bruce Braley of Waterloo in the same first district of Mount Vernon, igniting Loebsack's announced move to Johnson County in the second district, where no incumbent currently lives.
If Vilsack claims a victory, she would be Iowa's first woman to serve in Congress.