Matt Whitaker was the first to make his intentions known about running for U.S. Senate shortly after Congressman Steve King announced that he would not be running for Senate. He officially entered the race last week. Whitaker likely has the highest profile of the field currently. He played tight end for the Iowa Hawkeyes. After becoming an attorney he was eventually appointed to be the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. After going back to private practice in 2010 he applied for one of the Iowa Supreme Court vacancies made available after three justices lost their retention bids. In 2012 he was the state chair for Tim Pawlenty’s campaign for President.
While making his official announcement he said, “Bruce Braley and Barack Obama are making our country weak; they are taking away our future. Well, not on my watch. They want a Senate that thinks that entitlements are better than liberty. They think that subsidies are better than opportunity. They think its okay for the government to require that you buy a product from a private company.”
“The greatest debt our nation, or any nation, has ever had is what we are passing along,” Whitaker said. “Spending that our country can’t sustain and that you and I can’t afford. A government that spies on its people, steals from our future and taxes our small businesses is now threatening to grow even larger. Someone has to do something. I’ve decided to take a stand.”
Matt Schultz’ decision to not run for the U.S. Senate further opened the potential for a very competitive primary, and two more people have entered the race as well with one more joining last week and another just last night.
David Young is probably the least know to the average Iowa Republican. He has been Senator Chuck Grassley’s chief of staff since 2006, an Iowa Native who grew up in Van Meter in Dallas County. He filed last week and his campaign put up a video highlighting that event.
Sam Clovis just announced his candidacy last night at an event in Sioux City attended by 175 supporters. In an email sent to supporters this morning he said, “As a non-traditional candidate, I will be bucking not only the Democrat smear machine but also the Republican establishment. What I will not be bucking will be the hopes and aspirations of most Americans. As a principled conservative, I represent the views of the people far more than those of the inside-the-beltway.”
“I am seeking this office because I see nothing but ‘more of the same’—cookie cutter politicians whose rhetoric is strong but whose actions are better suited for protecting special interests than in protecting the interests of the people,” Clovis said.
Clovis is a former fighter pilot in the United States Air Force, current conservative talk-show radio host for Siouxland’s KSCJ-AM, and tenured full professor of the Business & Economics Department at Morningside College. He was former fellow at the Homeland Security Institute and is a faculty member at the Center for Homeland Defense & Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in California.
Through his talk show and “monthly coffee with Sam” events he is a well known figure in Northwest Iowa.
Former State Representative and gubernatorial candidate Rod Roberts and State Senator Joni Ernst are still considering joining the race so this could end up being a very crowded field.