Tags: branstad | iowa | latham | king

Iowa Gov. Branstad Supports Latham for Senate Over King

Monday, 25 Feb 2013 11:48 AM

By Dan Weil

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Iowa GOP Gov. Terry Branstad says he prefers Rep. Tom Latham over Rep. Steve King as the Republican nominee in next year’s Senate race to replace the retiring Democrat Tom Harkin.

Latham is the more electable, Branstad tells Politico. He says he believes the two congressmen will sit down and hash out together who will run, avoiding a primary fight.

“We’re not going to have a primary, and I’m going to support both of my congressmen,” Branstad said. “I just think that Latham would be the strongest candidate for the Senate at this time, and I feel confident that he would be a great vote-getter in our state.”

Latham apparently shares the views of some others in the GOP establishment that King is too stridently conservative. But Branstad made sure to offer copious compliments of him, too, even hinting he might back King in a 2016 attempt at GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley’s seat if the veteran decides to retire.

“I’ve encouraged them to talk to each other, make the decision,” Branstad said. “I’d love to see them both in the U.S. Senate someday.”

Iowa is split down the middle between the two parties. Currently Democrats run the state Senate while Republicans hold the House of Representatives and the governorship. Each party has two congressmen and one senator in Washington.

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