Former Iowa Secretary of State and State Senator Paul Pate confirmed today that he will not run for Congress in the open first district. Speaking to James Q. Lynch of the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Pate said the race was “very winnable” but would take him too far away from family.
The U.S. House race, which would involve a GOP primary in June 2014, would be long, Pate said. “It’s every two years so it never lets up, it’s a swing district, so whether you’re Democrat or Republican you’ll be battling every time.”
Right now, Pate’s more interested in “watching my grandchildren, taking them to music class or [dance] or gymnastics.”
“I want to watch them grow up. It only happens once and I want to be there,” he said.
Pate’s family circumstances haven’t changed since he indicated in September that he was leaning toward running for Congress. The main difference is that State Representative Walt Rogers joined the Republican field. Lynch reported,
Pate didn’t endorse Rogers, but said “whether he’s the guy or he inspires the others to get off their tails and go out and do it, I’m hopeful it changes the picture for Republican side in a positive way.”
With former State Representative Renee Schulte also passing on the IA-01 race, the Republican field appears to be set. Rogers will have the most establishment support, business owner Rod Blum will draw strength from the “Liberty” crowd, and I don’t know what Steve Rathje’s constituency is supposed to be.