Matt Schultz rules out IA-Sen, will seek re-election as secretary of state (updated)

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced on twitter this morning, “I am humbled by all of the encouragement to run for Senate, but I love serving Iowans as Secretary of State… I intend to run for SOS.” Earlier this month, Schultz traveled to Washington to speak with Republicans about the open U.S. Senate seat. I’m not surprised he decided to stay in his current office, where he will not be challenged in the GOP primary. Fundraising has never been Schultz’s strong suit, and in a Senate race he would be competing against at least two Republicans with the potential to raise big money (Matt Whitaker and David Young), plus a possible self-funding candidate in Mark Jacobs.

Schultz’s likely opponent in the secretary of state’s race is Brad Anderson, who has been raising money and building a campaign organization with the support of many heavyweights in the Iowa Democratic establishment. Iowa Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro, who served four years as secretary of state before losing to Schultz in 2010, has not ruled out running in the Democratic primary next year.

UPDATE: Added Brad Anderson’s comment on today’s news after the jump.

SECOND UPDATE: Schultz’s full written statement is below as well.

Brad Anderson posted on Facebook May 29,

Iowa has a proud history of clean and fair elections, yet Matt Schultz has spent his time in office wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on fruitless investigations and has proven to be the most partisan Secretary of State in recent memory. I believe we can do better by modernizing the office and ensuring election integrity without disenfranchising any eligible Iowa voters. Now that Secretary Schultz has decided to run for re-election, advocates for fiscal responsibility and voters’ rights will be more unified than ever to make change in 2014. Join us today at www.AndersonForIowa.com .

Full written statement from Schultz on May 29:

“Over the past few weeks I have been truly humbled by the encouragement I have received from Iowans to run for the U.S. Senate.

“After many conversations with my family and friends about the U.S. Senate race, I keep coming back to the fact that I love serving Iowans as their Secretary of State.

“In my first two years as Secretary of State we have worked to increase voter participation with our “Honor a Veteran” program and our partnership with Rock the Vote to encourage young people to vote through Rock Iowa. We have made it easier to start a business in Iowa by streamlining the filing process and we used technology to make voting easier by creating apps that allow voters to find their polling place and track their absentee ballots right from their cell phones. We have also created an electronic poll book, “Express Voter”, to make voting easier on Election Day.

“While I am proud of our achievements, there is more to accomplish. I will continue working to improve the business climate in Iowa, and fighting for integrity in our elections. This is why I am going to run for re-election as Iowa’s Secretary of State.”

Taking credit for improving the business climate? Give me a break. Schultz’s predecessor Michael Mauro oversaw major progress in the corporate filing process, but the secretary of state’s office doesn’t affect the Iowa economy in any significant way.

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