The Republican field in the Iowa 3rd Congressional District race is starting to take shape after a surprising retirement announcement from Congressman Tom Latham.

State Senator Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) decided against running for Congress in lieu of pursing a State Senate leadership position.  Kevin Hall at The Iowa Republican reports:

“After a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, I decided that I want to stay in the Iowa Senate and continue to work on state issues,” Whitver told TheIowaRepublican.com. “While running for Congress would be exciting and would provide an opportunity to help straighten out the federal government, we have a tremendous opportunity in 2014 to take a majority and change the state of Iowa for decades to come. I look forward to running for re-election in the Iowa Senate in 2014.”

Whitver plans to run for the position of whip of the Iowa Senate Republicans. The whip is the second highest ranked official in the senate minority, following the leader. Bill Dix (R-Shell Rock) is the senate minority leader.

David Young decided to shift gears and run for Congress instead of U.S. Senate.  The Des Moines Register broke the news this afternoon.

In an exclusive interview, Young said when he began pondering a run for elective office he had the 3rd in mind, assuming that Latham would run for the Senate seat opened by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s retirement in 2014.

When Latham declined to run for that office, Young declared his candidacy there instead, becoming one of a half-dozen Republicans in the race.

“I announced for the Senate with the goal of working for Iowans in Congress, and I can still do that in the House of Representatives,” he said.

His exit from the Senate race winnows a large field that many were concerned could lead to an uncertain result in the June primary and a GOP nominee chosen by convention. That possibility factored into his decision to enter the congressional race, he said.

“For Republicans to have a clear shot at winning that Senate race, we need to avoid a convention, and me moving to Iowa 3 narrows that field and puts us closer to that goal,” he said.

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