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Latham, an establishment Republican close to Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio), would have been a formidable general election candidate for the seat currently held by retiring Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinFCC needs to help services for the deaf catch up to videoconferencing tech Biden celebrates anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act Ex-Rep. Abby Finkenauer running for Senate in Iowa MORE (D-Iowa) — he's a proven campaigner and a strong fundraiser. But he faced the daunting prospect of running against Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), a Tea Party favorite who is moving towards a run.

Polls show that Latham would have had a strong chance against Rep. Bruce BraleyBruce Lowell BraleyFormer lawmakers sign brief countering Trump's claims of executive privilege in Jan. 6 investigation The Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring 2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster MORE (D-Iowa), Democrats' early front-runner — but also show that King would have had a big early lead in the GOP primary.