Rep. Braley weighing Iowa Senate run to replace retiring Harkin

Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) said Sunday he will “carefully weigh” a possible Senate run in 2014 to replace retiring Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Braley issued the statement on a possible Senate candidacy one day after Harkin announced his retirement. Many Iowa Democrats pointed to Braley in local media reports as the leading candidate to try and keep the seat in Democrat hands.

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"Over the past 24 hours, I've been overwhelmed by the outpouring of encouragement and support from Iowans in every corner of the state urging me to consider a campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2014,” Braley said in a statement.

“Iowans deserve a Senator who will continue Tom Harkin's legacy of strengthening the middle class and standing up for Iowans who don't have a voice. While Senator Harkin's shoes are impossible to fill, over the coming days my family and I will carefully weigh a possible candidacy for Senate.”

Braley, a four-term congressman, was previously considering a challenge to Gov. Terry Branstad (R-Iowa). Harkin’s retirement, however, makes the Senate a much more attractive option for a statewide race, as he would be running for an open seat rather than challenging an incumbent.


Braley could wind up running against a fellow House member in what will be a competitive race, as Reps. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) and Steve King (R-Iowa) are both seen as possible Senate candidates.

King did not rule out a run against Harkin or anyone else after he was reelected in November. Latham issued a statement Saturday that did not hint at his intentions to run for higher office.