Iowa Republicans may soon be turning to their “B-team” of contenders for a Senate seat they once thought easy to pick up, with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds reportedly set to announce she will instead seek re-election and GOP Rep. Steve King sounding so-so about leaving the House.
If King and Reynolds are “no-goes” for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, Hawkeye State sources say the likeliest GOP contenders are former U.S. Attorney Matt Whittaker, onetime tight end for the University of Iowa football team, and Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, best known for his championship of the voter ID issue. Both are considered strong conservatives.
The certain Democratic nominee is liberal Rep. Bruce Braley, who has Harkin’s blessings.
GOP Loses Key DC Council Race
Republican Patrick Mara lost the much-watched race for city council in the District of Columbia on Tuesday despite a $40,000 injection from the Republican National Committee and robocalls on his behalf from New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie.
In fact, local and national Republicans were stunned that Mara, a member of the city’s Board of Education, came in third with 23 percent of the vote, behind winner Anita Bonds, with 32 percent, and runner-up Elissa Silverman, with 28 percent.
Although D.C. voter registration is overwhelmingly Democratic, Republicans felt Mara could win because the race was nonpartisan and he was the lone Republican against five Democrats.
Georgia Democrats Ponder Senate Candidates
With Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed insisting he is not running for the Senate seat of retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss next year, Georgia Democrats are now looking at other candidates.
Five-term Rep. John Barrow has indicated an interest in the race and so has Michelle Nunn, daughter of former four-term Georgia Democratic Sen. Sam Nunn and head of the Points of Light voluntarism foundation. Barrow and Nunn are expected to meet soon to work out which one will run, and which will pass on the race.
On the Republican side, a Fox-5 TV poll of likely primary voters shows a tight three-man race with Reps. Paul Broun and Phil Gingrey tied at 15 percent, and Rep. Jack Kingston at 14 percent.
GOP Sours on Onetime LA Mayoral Favorite
Former Assistant U.S. Attorney and moderate Republican Kevin James once seemed to be the great hope of his party when he ran for mayor of Los Angeles this year on a platform of social moderation and fiscal conservatism.
But after he failed to place first or second in the initial primary, James endorsed Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles city councilman, in the resulting run-off against City Controller Wendy Greuel — both of whom are liberal Democrats.
The “lesser of two evils” argument notwithstanding, area Republicans are furious with James and vow they will never back him for anything after he supported for mayor someone endorsed by former Democratic National Chairman Howard Dean and the Los Angeles Times.
Jon Fleischman of the on-line Flash Report led the charge when he wrote that “James’ sell out to the left is not without consequence. For my part, I have no interest in supporting James in the future, now that he’s demonstrating a willingness to give a patina of fiscal restraint to a big spender and regulator like Garcetti. And I’ve heard similar rhetoric from other conservative leaders on this topic as well.”
John Gizzi is a special columnist for Newsmax.com.
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