Staci Appel decides against repeat campaign in IA-03

Former State Senator Staci Appel told the Des Moines Register’s Jennifer Jacobs this morning that she has decided not to run for Congress again in Iowa’s third district. Appel was uncontested for the 2014 nomination in IA-03 and raised quite a bit of money but lost to David Young by a disappointing 10-point margin.

No Democrats have announced plans to challenge Young yet, but former State Senator Matt McCoy is widely considered likely to run–even if he’s not the first choice of Democratic insiders in Washington. Former State Senate candidate Desmund Adams has been talking to Democratic activists around the district for the past several months. Former Governor Chet Culver said earlier this year that he would consider running in IA-03. I haven’t heard much chatter about Culver lately, but Pat Rynard sees him “taking a very serious look” at the race and for various reasons put Culver at the top of his “power rankings” on the IA-03 Democratic primary. I would consider McCoy a slight favorite in a primary battle against Culver and Adams.

EMILY’s List leaders were in Des Moines last week, having put David Young on their list of Republicans who should be “on notice.” That PAC endorses and helps to direct like-minded donors toward pro-choice Democratic women candidates. I’m not aware of any women considering the IA-03 race now that Appel has ruled herself off, so I wonder whether EMILY’s List came to town seeking to recruit someone else. After Representative Tom Latham announced his retirement plans, some local Democrats were hoping State Senator Janet Petersen would run in IA-03, but Petersen hasn’t expressed any interest in serving in Congress. She is much more likely to run for governor in 2018.

Any relevant comments are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Jim Mowrer, who challenged Representative Steve King in IA-04 in 2014, recently moved to Des Moines from Boone. Ha reportedly has not ruled out running against Young.

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