Former State Representative Renee Schulte of Cedar Rapids has decided against running for Congress in Iowa’s first district, she confirmed by telephone this morning. She said it’s "the right time to stay and continue to work" on implementing the mental health reform that was one of her key priorities as a state lawmaker. Schulte is helping to write new administrative rules as a consultant for the Mental Health Division of the Iowa Department of Human Services. Her contract runs through December.
Schulte added that while considering a Congressional bid, she was “not excited by the gridlock and lack of solutions at the federal level” and determined that she can “get more accomplished here” in Iowa. Who can argue after watching the government shutdown unfold last month?
Three candidates are already seeking the GOP nomination in IA-01: Cedar Rapids-based businessman Steve Rathje, Dubuque-based businessman Rod Blum, and State Representative Walt Rogers of the Waterloo/Cedar Falls area. One other Linn County candidate, former State Senator and Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate, is expected to join the race as well.