New IA-01 discussion thread

All signs point to Representative Bruce Braley running for Iowa’s open U.S. Senate seat in 2014, so I thought I’d put up a new thread to discuss scenarios in the first Congressional district.

Former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy plans to run in the Democratic primary for IA-01. I don’t think he’s as strong a candidate as either Senate President Pam Jochum or State Senator Liz Mathis would be, and it is long past time for Democrats to nominate a woman in an open seat that leans Democratic. The latest numbers from the Iowa Secretary of State’s office show that IA-01 contains 167,987 active registered Democrats, 140,227 Republicans, and 196,078 no-party voters.

On the Republican side, I am seeking comment about a possible Congressional bid from both Ben Lange and Rod Blum. Both ran against Braley in 2012; Blum narrowly lost the primary. Iowa Senate Minority Leader Bill Dix ran for IA-01 when it was last an open seat in 2006, but he has ruled out running for Congress next year as he tries to take back the Senate majority for the GOP. CORRECTION: Dix lives in Butler County, which used to be in IA-01 but is now in IA-04 under Iowa’s new map.

Any comments about the IA-01 campaign are welcome in this thread. A race between Blum and either Jochum or Murphy would be an all-Dubuque affair.

  • Murphy

    A couple more names will pop up when Braley declares.  Pat Murphy is a good person and very capable, but I’m not sure that his candidacy brings much buzz with it.  

    Liz Mathis, can she handle the scrutiny?  I have a feeling Pam Jochum certainly can.  

    • Republicans weren't able to dig anything up

      on Mathis during the 2011 special election for Iowa Senate district 18. Jochum can certainly handle scrutiny—she’s been in politics for 20 years. Mathis would take higher name recognition into a campaign because she is so well known in the Cedar Rapids television viewing area.

      • Mathis

        How did Mathis do in debates/public forums?  I started to watch one that she was involved with, but the audio wasn’t very good.  A good journalist will hold a candidate’s feet to the fire.  I don’t think she’s got any possible scandals out there.  My impression is that Anesa Kajtazovic would be more up to date on policy however.  I could be wrong however

        • she evaded some questions

          in the clips I saw at the time. Jochum is more outspoken. I think many of the Iowa House Democrats are strong on policy, including Anesa Kajtazovic.

  • republicans

    Bill Dix lives in the 4th Congressional District now anyway, and so does Pat Grassley though I haven’t heard him mentioned yet

    • thanks

      post is now corrected. The new boundaries for IA-01 also take out Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba, who came in second in the 2006 Democratic primary. The Quad Cities area is now in IA-02.

  • 1st CD

    I’m hearing a lot of new names kicked around in the 1st and 2nd.

  • Good of Iowa

    I’m not sure the IA Senate can risk another special election. The state senate is too vulnerable right now to risk losing a seat. Murphy running makes sense as it doesn’t jeopardize the Dem. majority in the State Senate. You better believe that the possibility of a state senate special election is playing a role in this process.

    I think a lot of it will depend on where Harkin’s war chest is going as well.

    • only an issue for Mathis' seat

      Senate district 34, that is. I share your concern. Democrats do have a chance to increase their Iowa Senate majority in 2014, but I wouldn’t bank on that right now.

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