Conservative talk radio host Steve Deace told Fox News today that he may run for the U.S. Senate in 2014 if Representative Steve King passes on the race. Deace said King is uniquely qualified to “unite the Rand Paul faction and the Mike Huckabee faction of the grassroots activists.” In his opinion, neither Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds nor “anybody connected to Terry Branstad” can unite Iowa Republicans.
Reynolds confirmed on a conference call with reporters today that she will “take a serious look” at the Senate race. According to Branstad’s communications director Tim Albrecht, Reynolds would not run against King in a GOP primary. UPDATE: The National Journal quotes skeptical Iowa Republican insiders on Reynolds as a Senate candidate.
I am still confident that King will opt out of the Senate race. In that case, a far-right candidate would be well positioned to beat Reynolds in a primary, but I’m not sure that Deace is that person. Spin your own IA-Sen scenarios in this thread.
UPDATE: Bruce Braley’s campaign has started taking shots at King already.
Carroll-based journalist Douglas Burns argues that former State Representative Rod Roberts, now the director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, would be the best candidate Republicans could field against Braley. I don’t think so, although Roberts was a good stalking horse for Branstad in the 2010 gubernatorial primary.
SECOND UPDATE: Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will “strongly consider” running for Senate, but only if King does not run. His past support for a gasoline tax increase to pay for road work would be a problem for him in a Republican primary. Also, the conservative base may not trust him, since he has no record on most issues not related to agriculture.
I enjoyed the Iowa .Gif-t Shop’s take on Deace as a possible candidate.