Iowa secretary of State moves towards run for Latham House seat

Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R) is moving further toward a run for retiring Rep. Tom Latham's (R-Iowa) House seat.

"Friends, I have received a lot of support and encouragement as I have considered becoming a candidate for Iowa's 3rd Congressional District. Next week, I will be making an important and exciting announcement about this race and my future plans to fight for Iowa," Schultz writes in a Facebook post.

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Schultz's entrance into the race would give the GOP a top-tier candidate for the competitive swing district. Schultz won statewide election in 2010 and has close ties with influential religious conservatives in the state. The Republican was a top backer of former Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-Pa.) presidential campaign in the state, and some encouraged him to run for Senate earlier this year, though he declined to jump in that race. 

Iowa state Sen. Brad Zaun (R), the 2010 GOP nominee, is expected to run. State Sens. Jake Chapman (R) and Charles Schneider (R) and state Rep. Rob Taylor (R) are also mulling bids.

Iowa state Sen. Jack Whitver (R) decided on Wednesday not to run for the seat.

Latham's late December decision to retire from the House gave Democrats a top pick-up opportunity. President Obama won the district by narrow margins in both of his presidential campaigns.

Democrats had coalesced around Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel (D) before Latham's decision to retire.