IA-01: Rod Blum's warning shot to Walt Rogers (updated)

Dubuque-based business owner Rod Blum is running an aggressive campaign for the Republican nomination in Iowa’s first Congressional district. Instead of waiting for Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen to announce his expected candidacy, Blum went to Paulsen’s home-town newspaper to denounce him as an “opportunist” and “career politician.”  

With Paulsen out of the picture as a Congressional candidate, speculation has turned to State Representative Walt Rogers of Cedar Falls. (Blum has support from the “Liberty” wing of the Republican base, but many people in the GOP are looking for an alternative to him or Cedar Rapids-based businessman Steve Rathje.) Rogers has said he’s analyzing the IA-01 race. I am seeking comment on his plans and will update this post if I hear back from him.

Meanwhile, Blum’s campaign announced the creation of a Black Hawk County Steering Committee last week. I’ve posted the press release after the jump, including the names of more than two dozen steering committee members. Black Hawk County is the second-largest by population in IA-01, and Rogers would presumably need to do well in his home base to win the GOP nomination. Blum is better-known to Republican activists around the district, having nearly beaten establishment favorite Ben Lange in the 2012 primary to represent IA-01.

UPDATE: Justin Bartlett of Rogers’ Iowa House campaign responded to my request for comment, saying that Rogers “is still strongly considering a Congressional run.”

Blum for Congress press release, September 4:

Today Rod Blum, Republican candidate for Congress in Iowa’s 1st District, announced the campaign’s initial Black Hawk County Steering Committee. “I’m humbled to have the support of so many wonderful citizens in the Cedar Valley,” said Blum. “Successful campaigns are built on a foundation of strong support from grassroots activists and community leaders.”

“The diversity and strength of this committee demonstrates the excitement surrounding Rod’s campaign in Black Hawk County,” said Paul Smith, Director of Operations for the campaign. “I look forward to working with each of these 29 individuals in the sweeping effort to elect a Congressman who understands that Iowans in the 1st District want principled, common sense leadership. We are dedicated to having the strongest organization in this race and are proud to add this group to over 145 committed county leaders throughout the district.”

Blum for Congress Black Hawk County Steering Committee:

Kermit & Carol Allard                                Justin Jensen                

Darin Beck                                                 Steve Kennedy

Zach Beschorner                                      Mike & Peggy LaCoste

Nathan Bolton                                            Priscilla Needelman

Jason & Dawn Burns                                 Lee & Barb Paradine

Jon & Dawn Champion                              Greg Radke

Carole Deeds                                             Calvin & Denise Smith

Bob Eft                                                        Reed Spore

Bob Fahr                                                     Sarah Stokes

Craig Fairbanks                                          Ron Wheeler

Harold Getty                                                Rick Young

Carmen Halverson

To join Rod’s Black Hawk County team, please visit www.RodBlum.com, or call (563) 581-9677.

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