[Bleeding Heartland Logo]

Bleeding Heartland is a community blog about Iowa politics: campaigns and elections, state government, social and environmental issues. Bleeding Heartland also weighs in on presidential policies and campaigns, federal legislation and what the Iowans in Congress are up to. Join our community, post your thoughts as comments or diaries, help keep our leaders honest and hold them accountable.
- desmoinesdem
- Iowa 2012 election coverage
- Who's who in the Iowa House for 2015
- Who's who in the Iowa Senate for 2015
- Iowa wildflowers
2014 Election Coverage
- Absentee ballot numbers
- IA-Sen
- IA-Gov
- IA-01
- IA-02
- IA-03
- IA-04
- Secretary of Agriculture
- Secretary of State
- State Auditor
- Iowa Senate overview
- Iowa House overview
- Senate district 5
- Senate district 7
- Senate district 9
- Senate district 12
- Senate district 13
- Senate district 15
- Senate district 17
- Senate district 27
- Senate district 29
- Senate district 39
- Senate district 41
- Senate district 47
- Senate district 49
- House district 8
- House district 15
- House district 25
- House district 26
- House district 28
- House district 30
- House district 33 (2013)
- House district 40
- House district 51
- House district 60
- House district 63
- House district 65
- House district 68
- House district 73
- House district 82
- House district 91
- House district 92
- House district 95
- House district 99

Advanced Search

Paid Advertising

Bleeding Heartland
It's what plants crave.

New IA-03 Republican candidate speculation thread

by: desmoinesdem

Tue Dec 24, 2013 at 11:45:00 AM CST

Representative Tom Latham's surprise retirement announcement last Tuesday was an early Christmas present to some ambitious Republicans (who now have an opportunity to move up) as well as to Democrats (who now have a prayer of winning IA-03).

Here's a new thread on potential GOP contenders for the vacant seat next year. My thoughts on many possible candidates are after the jump. Appearing on Iowa Public Television's "Iowa Press" program, Latham said he does not expect to endorse a candidate in the GOP primary to represent IA-03. He added that he might become a lobbyist or work for a charity after leaving Congress.

desmoinesdem :: New IA-03 Republican candidate speculation thread
It's likely that the Republican nominee to replace Latham will be a white male. With the sole exception of State Representative Mary Ann Hanusa, all of the Republicans who expressed interest when speaking to the Des Moines Register's Jennifer Jacobs last week are white men. I have not heard any other women's names mentioned as possible GOP candidates. I contacted Isaiah McGee, an Iowa Department of Education official and Waukee City Council member who is the most prominent African-American Republican in central Iowa. He sought the Republican nomination for the 2012 special election in Iowa Senate district 22 but told me last week that he will not run for Congress next year.

So far, none of the GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate seat have expressed interest in running for IA-03. Matt Whitaker, Joni Ernst, and Mark Jacobs all released statements saying they are committed to the Senate race. Bob Vander Plaats is considering the Senate race but is not interested in IA-03. I have not seen any comment from David Young, but if he drops out of the Senate race I doubt he would have any chance at winning the nomination in IA-03.

Several current elected officials are openly considering the Congressional race: Secretary of State Matt Schultz, State Senators Brad Zaun, Charles Schneider, Jake Chapman, and Jack Whitver, and State Representatives Chris Hagenow, Rob Taylor, and Mary Ann Hanusa. I believe Schultz will seize the chance to run for Congress. I would be surprised if Hagenow, Taylor, or Hanusa entered the primary, because they would have to give up their Iowa House seats to do so. Hagenow recently became House majority whip and is considered a possible future majority leader or speaker. Hanusa may run if no one else from the Council Bluffs area enters the race. (Jeff Ballenger is a possible candidate.)

Whitver is up for re-election to the Iowa Senate in 2014, so he would also have to give up his position in the legislature to enter what may be a crowded primary in IA-03. I think he will back off.

Schneider, Chapman, and Zaun were just elected to four-year terms in 2012, so they could run for Congress without risking their Iowa Senate seats. I expect at least one of them to go for it. Zaun is the best-known, but I doubt Republicans will want to nominate him again after he failed to defeat Leonard Boswell in the historic 2010 GOP landslide.

Former State Senator Jeff Lamberti, who was the GOP nominee in IA-03 in 2006, told the Des Moines Register that he's not interested. Ditto for State Representative Peter Cownie and West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer.

Several Republicans who have not run for office before are looking at the opportunity in IA-03. They include Republican Party of Iowa Vice Chair David Fischer, a leader of the Ron Paul "Liberty" faction, and Robert Cramer, who was not confirmed to a seat on the Iowa Board of Regents earlier this year. Fischer would have a lot of party activists behind him and may have an edge if no candidate wins at least 35 percent of the vote in the June primary. (In that event the nomination would be decided at a special convention.) Cramer would have no trouble raising enough money to run for Congress. As Craig Robinson discussed here, Cramer has ties to Governor Terry Branstad as well as to Bob Vander Plaats' FAMiLY Leader organization.

David Oman, a former Branstad staffer who unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for governor in 1998, told Jennifer Jacobs that he is considering the IA-03 race. He would be a well-funded candidate, but I think he's considered way too moderate to win a primary in today's political context.

Most of the possible Republican contenders live in Polk or Dallas Counties. Since Council Bluffs is the second-largest metro area in the district, I expect at least one Pottawattamie County Republican to enter the race--if not Jeff Ballenger, then perhaps State Representative Hanusa. The other Iowa House Republican from Council Bluffs, Mark Brandenburg, has already said he will retire from the legislature in 2014 in order to run for Pottawattamie county recorder.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email
Tweet This!

question (4.00 / 1)
Can those who hold state offices raise money for a federal office during the legislative session?  I don't think they can, but am not certain.  If it is true, that would make it very hard for those holding state office currently to run.

great question (0.00 / 0)
I don't recall this being a problem for Jeff Lamberti or Brad Zaun when they ran against Leonard Boswell, so I would guess that sitting state legislators can raise money for a federal campaign during session. I will check on that.

Invite other Iowa political junkies to join us at Bleeding Heartland.

[ Parent ]
i believe they can (4.00 / 1)
Federal rules apply to federal money and state rules apply to state money. They are legally required to be two separate pots of money.

[ Parent ]
That is correct. (4.00 / 1)
State laws do not restrict fundraising for state officeholders running in federal elections.

[ Parent ]
Brad (4.00 / 4)
Got a tweet from Brad on an important development after the first of the year. The tweet was headlined "Zaun for Congress".


Make a New Account



Forget your username or password?

Iowa Liberal Blogs
- Blog For Iowa
- Iowa .Gif-t Shop
- Iowa Independent (archive)
- Iowa Policy Points
- Iowa Starting Line
- Iowans for a Future That Doesn't Suck
- John Deeth
Iowa Conservative Blogs
- Hawkeye GOP
- The Bean Walker
- Caffeinated Thoughts
- The Conservative Reader: Iowa
- The Iowa Republican
Journalists' blogs and research
- 24-Hour Dorman
- Cedar Rapids Gazette government page
- Iowa Fiscal Partnership
- Iowa Policy Project
- Iowa Politics Insider
- Iowa Watchdog.org
- On Brief: Iowa's Appellate Blog
- On the Campaign Trail with Ed Tibbetts
- Politically Speaking
- Price of Politics, etc.
- O.Kay Henderson at Radio Iowa
Iowa Democrats
- Dave Loebsack (IA-02)
- Iowa Democratic Party
- Iowa House Democrats
- Iowa Senate Democrats

Powered by: SoapBlox