In the 3rd Congressional District, the GOP side of the race is getting quite crowded with folks wanting to  knock off Congressman Leonard Boswell.

There are now four declared candidates, but evidently Pat Betroche hasn’t declared his candidacy even though he has a website and has been campaigning.  I guess he’s “looking to run” not just running yet.  Go figure.  It has to bother him that he keeps getting overlooked.  Perhaps this is a sign that maybe he needs to stop looking if nobody even realizes he’s a candidate… just saying.

Of the declared candidates before today we have Dave Funk who I recently was able to interviewJim Gibbons, former Iowa State University wrestling coach turned businessman (working on getting an interview with him).  State Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) has also thrown his hat in the ring.

Today another Republican decided to get in the race because you know we just don’t have enough people running.  Mark Rees, a retired architect from West Des Moines, is also now a declared candidate.  Rees seems to be playing more toward the moderates with his positions on immigration, civil unions, and carbon emissions according to the Des Moines Register:

Rees said he supports a federal balanced budget amendment, expanded job creation tax credits, capital investment tax credits for new equipment and facilities expansion and developing market import loan programs. He favors stronger border security, but wants to provide immigrants with a path to citizenship.

In addition, Rees said he wants to protect marriage between a man and a woman, but also believes in civil unions. He also favors cost-effective efforts to cap carbon emissions, but he does not support programs to allow pollution credits to be traded or purchased by any entity other than the government.

He said he supports expanding alternative energy programs through investment tax credit programs and a progressive tax structure that includes a vanishing long-term capital gains tax, a tiered short-term capital gains tax, a specialized market trading surtax, and a targeted short-sales capital gains tax.

At this point I don’t see how Bertroche can even be a factor since it seems like nobody knows he’s running.  I’m curious as to what is motivating (or who is motivating) Rees to run.  He also said to the Register:

Rees said he isn’t criticizing Democratic President Barack Obama or individual members of Congress.

“It’s not that I support what is and has been happening in Washington because I don’t any more than my fellow candidates,” Rees said in prepared remarks. “”But it serves no legitimate purpose to craft politically motivated, emotionally driven statements laced with selected statistics promoting and promising unrealistic, unachievable results.”

The Iowa Independent reports:

Rees said he plans to strike a bipartisan tone with his campaign, focusing on the issues instead of personal or political attacks.

It would seem that he is getting involved because he’s not happy with the conservatives in this race.  I don’t see his candidacy going anywhere in this current environment.  Congress’ approval rating is at an all-time low and claiming to be “bipartisan” isn’t going to play, in my opinion, considering what Congress is trying to ram down our throats.  Also to dismiss your opponents positions as “politically motivated and emotionally driven” is a mistake as their positions is reflective of the base (and the sentiment among a growing number of independents).

Funk is a product of the tea parties, has been campaigning hard, and has some early support.  Gibbons clearly has name recognition, and Zaun is known as an effective campaigner.  Zaun also has the most experience having served as mayor of Urbandale, as well as, serving in the state senate.  Fundraising will be a challenge for them all.

We have five running, but I think at the moment we really only have three viable candidates.  It will be interesting who is left standing in June.

Update: I got an email, I think it was from Art at The Conservative Reader (I don’t know the last couple of days have been a blur) that Pat Betroche will officially declare his candidacy on 12/18.  Did anyone think he wasn’t running?  I never could quite understand why politicians run for office and then officially declare like months later.

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