Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King won't seek retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's seat next year, marking the second GOP prospect in the past two days to announce they are staying out of the race.
King was one of the first mentioned as a potential candidate for the outgoing Democratic senator, reports Politico
, and he said his decision to stay out of the race was not easy to make.
"This week, I made a simple device to put toothpaste back in the tube," King said in a statement released Friday. "But a device to put the Leftist genie back in the bottle is not so simple."
On Thursday, state Agriculture Commissioner Bill Northey also said he isn't running for Harkin's seat, and that he hoped King would decide to run.
Several other prominent Iowa Republicans have chosen to stay out of the race, inlcuding Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Rep. Tom Latham, but some believe Latham may reconsider his decision since King has announced he won't be running.
“If you reread his note to his supporters of why he wasn’t going to run for Senate, he definitely gives himself an opening to get back in if that’s what he chose to do,” said social conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats. “Now, if King determines he’s not going to run, I think the landscape has shifted … and Tom Latham needs to reassess his interest in the race.”
And even though King and Northey aren't running for the seat, there are several other Republicans ho have shown interest, including Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz, former U.S. Attorney Matt Whitaker, state Sen. Joni Ernst and David Young, who is an aide to Sen. Chuck Grassley.
On the Democratic side, Rep. Bruce Braley has already announced his candidacy, and $1 million has been raised to date toward his campaign.
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