IA-Sen: Bill Northey rules out running (updated)

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced on twitter this morning, “I have decided not to run for US #Senate. Thx for many kind, encouraging words. Hoping Congr King runs. Other good R candidates as well.”

That’s bad news for State Representative Pat Grassley, rumored to be interested in the secretary of agriculture job if Northey had run for Senate.

Thousands of Democrats share Northey’s hope that Representative Steve King will run, but it’s not going to happen. Really. I got a kick out of his comments yesterday, though.

“There’s a lot of support to do this, and I just don’t know the answer. And I’m embarrassed that I don’t know the answer,” he said with a laugh.  He said he doesn’t know when he’ll make a decision.

He said he never expected to still be undecided in May. “Things are stacking up on me so fast,  I hardly have time to deal with the issue,” the Kiron Republican said.  He cited events pending in Congress, especially the farm bill and the immigration issue.

If I compiled a list of things Steve King should be embarrassed about, being late to decide on the Senate race wouldn’t make the top 20.

Matt Whitaker seems poised to launch a Senate campaign soon. Other Republicans considering the race include State Senator Joni Ernst, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff David Young, and former State Representative Rod Roberts.

UPDATE: Added more comments from Northey below.

Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson talked with Northey on May 2.

King said recently he is still undecided on running, but Northey would like him to get into the race. “I am hopeful, he and I have been in contact through this, it’s been a great chance to talk through how we think the race breaks, what the political factors are, the impact on our families. I don’t know what he is going to do. I would love it if he would run,” Northey says.

[…] Northey believes the race for the open seat is a 50-50 proposition.

“As folks get increasingly concerned about what’s happening in Washington and the lack of bringing a budget together, the budget problems, Obamacare, other kinds of things, I really believe things break very well for a Republican and the kind of Iowa points of view that can be delivered as an alternative to what’s happening and what Congressman Braley brings to this race,” Northey says.

“So, I believe it can be won, I certainly believe that I could have gathered the support as well.”

Northey also told Danielson that he is likely to seek a third term as Iowa secretary of agriculture.

  • Hypothetical

    Let’s assume Steve King doesn’t run. (good assumption at this point)  If Pat Grassley got a crazy idea and decided he wanted to run for the U.S. Senate in 2014.  Would he do well or would he be an after thought?  

    • he is just barely old enough

      would be 31 at the time of the 2014 election. I don’t think that would fly in a GOP primary, but who knows? In a general election, I’m not sure Iowans would go for sending grandson to work with Grandpa Chuck.

  • Latham?

    Did I read or hear somewhere that he might reconsider?  Assuming King doesn’t run, and given that some of  the other “first tier” (whatever that means) candidates are taking a pass, is it possible some powerful interest might persuade Latham to give it a go?

    • the NRSC wants him to reconsider

      Bob Vander Plaats has indicated that Latham might reconsider, but I doubt Latham has him on speed dial.

      I am a little concerned that he might swoop in to save the party, but I’m hoping he will let others attempt to launch their campaigns over the summer and fall.

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