King's potential primary opponent, Rep. Tom Latham (R), announced last week that he would not pursue the Republican nomination for Harkin's seat, removing the main barrier to King's nomination. King said that Latham's choice "simplifies the process some, but it probably doesn’t change the decision."
He said, however, that he hoped "my presence as a candidate didn’t affect [Latham’s] decision."
King has already received criticism from his likely Democratic opponent, Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce BraleyCriminal sentencing bill tests McConnell-Grassley relationship Trump's VP list shrinks Vernon wins Iowa House Dem primary MORE (D), who has indicated his interest in running for the seat. On Thursday, Braley's office hammered King for voting against the Violence Against Women Act.
King questioned the attack.
“Does he really want to start that?” he said Friday.
He said that, though he saw Braley on the flight back to Iowa Thursday night, he "decided not to bring it up."
--This piece was updated on March 5 to reflect the purpose of the office King opened on Friday.