Iowa GOP congressman won't seek re-election
December 17th, 2013
06:47 PM ET
1 year ago

Iowa GOP congressman won't seek re-election

(CNN) – The rule of threes was validated on Tuesday when Iowa Republican Rep. Tom Latham announced he would not seek re-election to his House seat in 2014.

Earlier in the day, Virginia GOP Rep. Frank Wolf and Utah Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson also said they would not run again.

Latham, 65, a close friend and ally of House Speaker John Boehner, shared his decision in a message to supporters.

"It is never a perfect time or a right time to step aside. But for me, this is the time," he said.

First elected in 1994, the Iowa Republican is a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee and won his 10th term in 2012 in a tough race after his seat was redrawn to overlap with Iowa Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell.

Latham ended up beating Boswell, 52% to 44%.

Earlier this year, Democratic state Sen. Staci Appel announced she would challenge Latham and many expected another competitive midterm contest in 2014.

Iowa's 3rd Congressional District encompasses parts of the Democratic-leaning Des Moines area and the Republican-leaning southwest counties along the Nebraska and Missouri borders.

President Barack Obama won Latham’s district with 51% of the vote in 2012.

When Sen. Tom Harkin announced he would not seek re-election earlier this year, Latham considered running to replace him but ultimately decided against a two-year campaign.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it sees Latham’s seat up for grabs.

“The mass exodus of Republicans fleeing John Boehner’s dysfunctional House is putting more and more competitive districts into play every day,” DCCC chair Steve Israel said in a statement.

“Democrats will demonstrate to voters in this toss-up district that we’re committed to making a difference in their lives, whether it’s by passing a farm bill or moving forward with an agenda to strengthen and expand the middle class.”

The House GOP campaign chief, Rep Greg Walden, R-Oregon, released a statement praising Latham, but also predicting the seat would remain in GOP's hands.

"Iowans have been well served by having one of the hardest working members as their representative in Congress. I am confident that they will elect a Republican to represent this district next November," Walden said.


Filed under: House Republicans • Iowa
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. don in albuquerque

    Better to quit then get thrown out I guess.

    December 17, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  2. Name carl

    I hope more of the Republicans retire. I would like to say SHAME on the Republicans in states passing laws making it harder for people to vote...They will vote.. this will hurt the GOP. It is horrible...Taking away peoples right to vote. SHAME ON YOU GOP.

    December 17, 2013 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  3. John

    We need you now, don't let the hate filled "tea party" win the argument..............rascism, hatred, are not the basis of the GOP.............we need you to stick up for what the GOP really stands for

    December 17, 2013 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  4. S. B. Stein

    There is a lot of change listed today. It seems that there is going to be some turnover. Is this enough for the Democrats to take the House? It remains to be seen.

    December 17, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Guns Over People tea potty wingnut rats are jumping ship. 2014 comes quickly for them all.

    December 18, 2013 05:48 am at 5:48 am |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Will CNN officially announce that this seat might be in play for the democrats?

    December 18, 2013 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    2 people leaving in the same day is hardly indicative of a mass exodus. I love how the people running campaigns dramatically extrapolate every decision as death for the opposition.

    December 18, 2013 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  8. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Even republicans don't want to represent republicans stupid agenda????

    December 18, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |