U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley is planning to run for re-election in 2014, “but things can change,” the Waterloo Democrat said Friday.
Braley, who is beginning his fourth term representing Eastern Iowa in Congress, is considered a possible challenger to Republican Gov. Terry Branstad in 2014.
Braley, 55, insisted he’s not spending a lot of time thinking about running for governor – or, for that matter, the U.S. Senate, if Sen. Tom Harkin does not seek re-election.
“I can tell you with absolute certainly the average Iowa voter is not thinking about the 2014 elections,” Braley said during taping for Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, which will air at 7:30 p.m. Friday and noon Sunday.
However, as a congressman running on a two-year cycle, “it never gets away from you,” said Braley, who handily won re-election in November. That doesn’t mean he feels pressure to make a decision whether to run for re-election or run statewide for either governor or senator.
“I am moving forward, planning to run for re-election in 2014,” Braley said. “I’m trying to focus on doing my job and the rest will all sort itself out as things happen.”
He will keep his options open “as long as it takes for me to understand what the lay of the land is,” Braley added.
The “lay of the land” will change if Harkin, 73, does not seek a sixth term in 2014. He hasn’t shared his plans with Braley who is under the assumption Harkin will run.
“He certainly is doing everything it appears he would have to do to run for re-election,” he said about the Cumming Democrat, who has been raising funds as if preparing for another campaign. “But I’m just like every other voter waiting to see what happens.”
In the meantime, Braley still enjoys his work as a congressman and believes he’s effective, both in Washington and in serving constituents in Iowa’s 1st District that includes Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Marshalltown, Decorah and Dubuque.
He’s proud to have worked with fellow Democrats and Republicans to get legislation passed and signed into law.
“That’s not a very common thing for people serving in the minority,” Braley said. “Yet, I think it is a reflection of the work I put in to develop strong relations with people on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers so I can try to get things done for the people I represent.”