Iowa’s GOP governor has some media outlets believing he is discouraging fellow Republican Rep. Steve King from running for the Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin.
Gov. Terry Branstad, during his Monday morning press conference said, “I really believe that Iowans want somebody that will serve in the Senate that will be an Iowa problem solver, not another congressman.”
Since Harkin’s January announcement that he would not run again in 2014, one Democrat, Rep. Bruce Braley, has announced his intent to run. No Republicans have tossed their hats into the ring, but King, state Senator Joni Ernst, and state Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey have expressed interest, Radio Iowa reports
“You know congress is a mess. We’ve seen them spend a trillion dollars more than they take in every year and so the Democrats have decided, ‘Well, we’re going to send up another congressman.’ That’s the last thing we need is another congressman in the United States Senate,” Brandstadt said, fueling press speculation that he meant not only Braley, but also King.
Audio of the press conference gave a clearer picture of Branstad’s opinion. When questioned by reporters if his comments could be directed at King, Branstad answered, “Well, remember, Steve King did serve at the state Senate level and was very effective here. And that’s a little different thing than Braley that all his service has been in Washington, D.C., during the time that they passed all these massive deficits.”
Branstad noted that Braley also voted against free trade agreements, adding, “I think his record is one that’ll be a pretty easy target.”
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