Possible new candidate in key 2014 Senate battle
Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin will retire after his term is up, paving the way for a 2014 open Senate race in Iowa.
February 28th, 2013
11:33 AM ET
5 years ago

Possible new candidate in key 2014 Senate battle

(CNN) - Add a new name to what's shaping up to be one of the most crucial U.S. Senate showdowns next year.

Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday that she's considering a bid for the seat of longtime Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, who late last month announced that he wouldn't run in 2014 for a sixth term in office.

On a conference call from the Philippines, where Reynolds is leading a trade mission, the first term Republican lieutenant governor said she "will take a serious look at it."

Her comments come one day after her boss, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, urged Reynolds to run. The Republican governor's communications director, Tim Albrecht, tells CNN that Reynolds returns from her overseas mission late Saturday night and "will begin her discussions regarding a run next week."

Earlier Wednesday Rep. Tom Latham, one of two Iowa congressmen who had been considering a 2014 Senate bid, announced he was staying put in the House. Branstad had previously urged Latham to run.

The other congressman seriously considering a Senate bid is Rep. Steve King, a conservative known for his vocal attacks on President Barack Obama. King has been criticized by some establishment Republicans as being too controversial and outspoken to win a statewide general election.

Following Latham's announcement, King said in a statement that he is continuing his decision making process, adding that "it is too big a decision to be rushed."

Albrecht tells CNN that Reynolds intends to speak with King as part of her decision making process, adding that "she has been friends with Steve King for a long time, and would not enter a primary with him."

Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley announced earlier this month that he would run for the seat. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former two term Iowa governor, recently said he will not seek the office. His name was floated as a potential Democratic candidate. Vilsack's wife Christine, however, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate. Last year she lost to King in a well-publicized House race.

The race for Harkin's open seat will most likely be one of the most heavily contested contests in 2014, as the Democrats try to hold onto their majority in the Senate. The party currently has a 55 – 45 seat advantage over the GOP in the chamber (including two independents who caucus with them). But the Democrats will be defending 21 of the 35 seats up for grabs in November 2014.

The other senator from Iowa, Chuck Grassley, is a Republican.

Filed under: Iowa • Senate • Tom Harkin
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jerry

    Yay, one less Obama "Bender Forward"! Yay, yay!!!

    February 28, 2013 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  2. Sniffit

    Filed under predictable:

    1. Bob Woodward makes specious claim that WH threatened him.

    2. GOP/Teatrolls go nuts over it and CNN/MSM shoves it, and the GOP/Teatrolls' talking points, in everyone's face.

    3. Emails get released showing it was nothing even close to resembling a threat.

    4. Prominent conservatives like Erick Erickson and Brit Hume essentially retract their claims and say "we got played...that wasn't a threat."

    5. CNN/MSM ignore the retractions, do nothing to correct the misperceptions created by their reporting and even leave up their headlines and front page website stories about Woodward claiming he was threatened, as if the emails haven't been released showing how silly that claim really is (when you gonna remove that and publish a correction, eh CNN?)

    6. Teatrolls bemoan the "liberal lamestream media."


    February 28, 2013 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. NickAnast

    Yay, one less Obama "Bender Forward"! Yay, yay!!!

    Ummm...hate to burst your bubble, but if Rep. Steve King wins the GOP primary, then the Democratic candidate - whomever he/she is - will win the election. And right now, King is the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

    February 28, 2013 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Jean, Des Moines, Iowa.

    Kim Reynolds educational background: attended community college, attended NW Missouri State – no degree. Fits in well with the "braindead" governor we have and the extremist Steve King. Intelligence, common sense, empathy, compassion – who needs those qualities if the above can fool the voting public time and time again?

    February 28, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit wrote:

    Filed under predictable:

    1. Bob Woodward makes specious claim that WH threatened him.
    Coincidentally, a week before Woodward's blistering op-ed on the WH, he had appeared on Fox News blasting Karl Rove and Friends for laying 100% blame for the sequester on Pres. Obama. Then he re-appears on Fox rhyming with Rove.

    February 28, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |