With the news of Congressman Tom Latham’s retirement 2014’s midterm elections became even more exciting for those of us who are political junkies.  2014 was already going to be big in Iowa with the open U.S. Senate seat, but now what was likely going to be a safe seat for Republicans with Latham is up for grabs.

So who will run?  That is a conversation that several prospective candidates are going to have over Christmas and New Year’s.

On the Republican side here are those who are declared or are considering a run:

  • Joe Grandanette who right now is the only declared candidate on the Republican side.  He is an elementary school P.E. teacher from Des Moines.
  • State Senator Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale) was the GOP nominee in 2010.  Zaun lost to former Congressman Leonard Boswell, but is interested in an open seat contest.  He is likely to run.
  • State Senator Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) is a former Iowa State Cyclone wide receiver, lawyer, and small businessman.  He is currently serving his first term.  He is considering a run.
  • State Representative Chris Hagenow (R-Windsor Heights) is a law partner with Matt Whitaker who is running for U.S. Senate.  Hagenow is the Majority Whip in the House of Representatives.  He is considering running.
  • State Senator Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) is also considering running.  Schneider was formerly on the West Des Moines City Council and is new to the Iowa Senate having won in a special election to replace the late Pat Ward.
  • State Senator Jake Chapman (R-Adel) is also considering running.  He is also in his first term in the Iowa Senate.
  • Secretary of State Matt Schultz who is currently up for re-election is considering a run.  He declined running for U.S. Senate last spring.
  • Robert Cramer told The Iowa Republican yesterday that he is considering a run.  Cramer was tapped by Governor Branstad to be on the Iowa Board of Regents, but lost the confirmation vote.  The Des Moines businessman is a former President of the Associated General Contractors of Iowa and he sits on the Board of Directors of The FAMiLY Leader.

There was talk about one of the U.S. Senate candidates moving down to compete for Latham’s seat, but at least two of the three candidates who live in the 3rd Congressional District said no.  Both Matt Whitaker and State Senator Joni Ernst said they were staying in the U.S. Senate race.  Since Mark Jacobs just declared for the U.S. Senate race and dropped a bunch of money for a TV ad I think it’s safe to say he’s staying in as well.

I’m sure there are others considering it as well.  I would venture a guess that it will cross former State Representative Rod Roberts’s mind.  Roberts ran for Governor in 2010, and is still mulling a U.S. Senate bid so why not Congress instead?

On the Democratic side we currently have:

  • Former State Senator Staci Appel of Warren County who has the distinction of getting a shellacking from disgraced former State Senator Kent Sorenson in her last election.
  • Gabriel De La Cerda is a former union laborer and a Des Moines community college student.
  • State Senator Matt McCoy (D-Des Moines) is now considering a run now that Congressman Latham is retiring.  Iowa Senate District 21 is obviously fine with having a homosexual activist representing them, but I think it’s debatable that Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District is.  We’ll see.  If they both won their prospective primaries a Robert Cramer – Matt McCoy match-up would be pretty interesting… just saying.

Who would you like to see run?

Photo credit: Erlend Bjortvedt (CC-By-SA 3.0)

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