Matt McCoy rules out running in IA-03, will stay in Iowa Senate

Democratic State Senator Matt McCoy told the Des Moines Register that he will not run for Congress in the open third district. McCoy has been thinking about a Congressional bid for more than a decade, but “After careful consideration with my family, and my 14-year-old son, Jack, I have decided that this is not the right time in my life to run for Congress.” Instead, he will seek re-election this year to the Iowa Senate, where he chairs the Commerce Committee and is an assistant majority leader.

McCoy will easily be re-elected in Iowa Senate district 21, covering parts of Des Moines and West Des Moines. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by about 4,500, and President Barack Obama won nearly 59 percent of the vote here in 2012.

McCoy’s decision leaves Staci Appel in the driver’s seat for the Democratic nomination in IA-03. She has raised approximately $500,000 for her campaign so far (haven’t found her latest filing yet on the Federal Election Commission website) and won the endorsements of many labor unions and progressive interest groups. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has promised her early support as well. Gabriel De La Cerda is also seeking the Democratic nomination in IA-03. He’s a first-time candidate and former Iowa political coordinator for the United Steel Workers Union.

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Five Iowa Senate races to watch in 2014

It’s the time of year for blog posts about notable candidates and upcoming elections. Every politically engaged Iowan knows already that 2014 will be an unusually exciting year. We haven’t seen an open U.S. Senate race since 1974. The last time Iowa’s first Congressional district was open was in 2006. The last time Iowa’s third Congressional district was open was in 2002, but it wasn’t a wide open seat, since incumbent Representative Leonard Boswell moved into Polk County to run. Amazingly, 1940 was the “last time there was a Congressional race in Polk County without an incumbent seeking re-election.” All of Iowa’s statewide elected officials are up for re-election as well this year, and the secretary of state’s position may become open if Matt Schultz decides to go for the Republican nomination in IA-03.

Since Bleeding Heartland readers already know about the big Iowa races to watch, I want to focus today and tomorrow on the elections that are likely to determine control of the Iowa House and Senate in 2015 and 2016.  

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