State Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for Congress in Iowa’s third district next year, The Iowa Republican reported today. Zaun has also revamped his campaign website. Before he can face seven-term incumbent Leonard Boswell, Zaun must win a Republican primary, where his main opponent is likely to be former Iowa State University wrestling coach Jim Gibbons.
Judging from various comment threads at The Iowa Republican, supporters of Gibbons feel Zaun is too “moderate.” There have been a couple of references to “pro-gay” votes by Zaun, but I have no idea what they are talking about. Zaun voted against the 2007 bill that amended the Iowa Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination because of sexual orientation (click here for the bill history). Zaun is also on record opposing same-sex marriage rights.
I would expect both Zaun and Gibbons to be able to raise substantial campaign funding. The eventual nominee will need it, because the National Republican Congressional Committee has a lot less cash on hand than its Democratic counterpart and has many more enticing targets than IA-03.
UPDATE: From Radio Iowa:
Boswell was not among the congressional Democrats targeted, nationally, by the G-O-P in 2008, but Zaun says he’s been assured the National Republican Congressional Committee will invest money to defeat Boswell in 2010.
“They’ve told me that this is going to be a priority and this seat is going to be one of the top targeted seats,” Zaun says.
They’ll have to step up their fundraising to keep that promise.