Iowa Agriculture secretary opts against Senate bid

In a post to his Twitter account announcing his decision, Northey said he hoped Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) would jump into the race.

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The Des Moines Register reported last month that King had hired a Virginia-based political consultant that helped raise money for other successful Tea Party candidates, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). But in an interview with local radio station KSCJ last week, King said he is "still on the bubble" about a possible run.

Northey told the Register he had made his decision "after talking with my family and thoughtful consideration."

In an interview last week with Radio Iowa, Northey said it would be difficult to walk away from a farm that has been in his family since the 1930s.

"I do have other family there that can farm it, that I could rent to,” Northey said, “but it wouldn’t be the same as me being able to get out and farm myself.”

The Republican nominee will likely face Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), who announced his intention to run in February.