IA-01: Lange out, Blum takes first shot at Paulsen

Catching up on news from last week, two-time Republican nominee Ben Lange has confirmed that he will not run for Congress next year in the open first district. Lange’s written statement, which I enclose at the end of this post, cited family reasons. As a practical matter, he would have been an underdog to win the nomination in IA-01 for a third time. He barely defeated Rod Blum in the 2012 primary despite having raised far more money and hired a larger campaign staff. In that race, many prominent Iowa Republicans and the National Republican Congressional Committee favored Lange, probably because he had come so close to defeating incumbent Bruce Braley in 2010. But Braley easily won re-election last year, carrying 17 of the 20 counties in IA-01.

Also last week, Blum previewed his case against likely primary rival Kraig Paulsen, the speaker of the Iowa House. I recommend reading the whole article by James Q. Lynch for the Cedar Rapids Gazette. A few excerpts are after the jump. I believe that Blum’s attacks on Paulsen will resonate with many activists who participate in Republican primaries.

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IA-01: How much will the Liberty movement help Rod Blum?

Yesterday Dubuque-based business owner Rod Blum formally announced his candidacy in the Republican primary to represent Iowa’s first Congressional district. The same day, he received the endorsement of the Liberty Iowa PAC, formed two years ago by supporters of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign. Both announcements are after the jump, along with my first thoughts on how much the Liberty movement could help Blum in the GOP primary.

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First look at the potential Republican field in IA-01

No Republicans have announced firm plans to run for the open seat in Iowa’s first Congressional district, but several people are definitely or rumored to be considering the race.

To evaluate who is best poised to win this Democratic-leaning district, it’s helpful to look at where the votes are in a Republican primary as well as in a general election. After the jump I’ve posted a district map, the latest voter registration numbers for the 20 counties in IA-01, and a brief take on some of the possible Republican candidates.  

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