Chet Culver rules out running for IA-03 or for governor

Multiple Bleeding Heartland readers have told me that former Governor Chet Culver was seeking input on a possible Congressional campaign this year. I was skeptical, given Staci Appel’s big lead in fundraising and backing from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Since Representative Tom Latham announced plans to retire, many labor unions and interest groups have confirmed their support for Appel as well.

Today Culver released a statement to the Des Moines Register confirming that he won’t run for Congress or for governor this year.

“While my passion for serving Iowa remains as strong as it’s ever been, timing is everything, and I will not be a candidate for public office in 2014,” he said. “I am excited to support the Iowa Democratic Party’s great ticket of candidates up and down the ballot, and I look forward to continuing to work now and in the future to make Iowa an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”

So far, Appel’s only competition in the IA-03 Democratic primary is Gabriel De La Cerda, a first-time candidate who hasn’t raised much money. State Senator Jack Hatch is the leading Democratic candidate for governor. Jonathan Narcisse and Paul Dahl have also announced plans to run for governor as Democrats this year.

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  • IA-3

    No offense to Staci Appel, but Democrats around the country will be second guessing how IA-3 shook out IMO, at least it looks that way to me.  I know she has plenty of money so on and so forth.  We need to raise Gabriel’s profile as well.  I think both candidates would benefit from a debate.

    It is also a shame that Mr. Sherzan wasn’t able to stay in the race.  We knew Culver wasn’t going to run, but there are a ton of people that could have considered the race.  

    • if Latham had announced his retirement earlier

      It would have been a different story. A competitive Democratic primary wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. But if you are saying Staci Appel can’t win this district, I disagree. The Republican primary is a bit of a train wreck.

      • She could win

        I just haven’t seen her attempting to raise her profile.  I think in a neutral year (non-wave year) she is going to have trouble.  You’re right, if she faces the right candidate following the GOP primary then she could do well.  We’ll see, I don’t mean to be pessimistic.  

        She would benefit from a highly active Governor’s Race.  Matt McCoy had to read the tea leaves as well and you probably will see Branstad with his coat tails in the 3rd.  

  • Will Culver run for senate against Grassley in 2016?