King rules out running for governor

No surprises here: Congressman Steve “10 worst” King announced yesterday that he won’t run for governor in 2010.

U.S. News and World Report this month ranked King among Obama’s “top five foes.”

“There are compelling reasons to run for governor and have the direct influence on policy that can shift the state. That’s been weighing on me for a long time,” King told The Des Moines Register. “But the final deciding factor is this: If America takes this leftward lurch, it won’t matter what we do in Iowa if we don’t get it right in Washington.” […]

King declined to say whether he thinks Branstad ought to run.

“There is no one in the state of Iowa who loves Iowa more than Terry Branstad,” he said. “If he does run, it would be a pay cut, and it wouldn’t be because he needs to pad his resume. I would certainly respect him if he does.”

Although King made some noise about running for governor after the Iowa Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex marriage in April, I never thought it likely that he would give up a safe seat in the U.S. House to get beaten by Chet Culver. Also, his current position gives his son, Jeff King, a full-time job as manager of the congressman’s re-election campaigns.  

  • King's no dummy

    Well, I mean….he is, but he has political savvy.

    He knows he has a good thing going. Barring some bizarre rightward Bill Salier lurch, he’s pretty safe.

    At the same time, he has to know he couldn’t win a statewide race as it stands now. In order to win a statewide race he would have to move considerably toward the middle. Ah, but it’s a Catch-22: the more he moves toward the middle, the more he alienates his own district. He doesn’t have a good option in this case, so he’s best off staying put.

    I think whats really interesting here is the relationship between King and Vander Plaats. I wonder how they get along. I mean, when you think of “western Iowa conservatives”, it’s King and Vander Plaats. Does King consider Vander Plaats something of a rival? I guess we’ll really see how their relationship shapes up if Branstad jumps in the race and forces King to pick a side.

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