CEDAR FALLS – State Sen. Steve Sodders makes the second Democrat testing the waters to replace Rep. Bruce Braley in the 1st Congressional District.
Sodders, a deputy sheriff from State Center, has formed an exploratory committee to look into the seat.
“I’m taking a serious look at the 1st District seat after having several people ask me to take a serious look at it,” Sodders said Saturday.
Sodders joins former Iowa House Speaker Pat Murphy, of Dubuque, as Democrats who have announced an intent to run for the Congressional seat. On the Republican side, only Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje has announced a run. Braley is leaving his seat to run for the U.S. Senate.
The second-term state senator comes from Marshall County and represented his home county and Hardin County in his first term. Last November he was re-elected to a reshaped district that now included Marshall and Tama Counties, plus part of southern Black Hawk County including La Porte City.
“Right now I’m in the beginning phases. I’ve talked to some of the leaders— Senator (Tom) Harkin, Congressman Braley, Congressman (Dave) Loebsack and Sec. (Tom) Vilsack and others — and we’re now looking at some organizational things and will see about viability. We’re just getting started,” Sodders said.
Sodders comes from the far southwestern part of the 20-county 1st District. Marshall County was added to the district following redistricting after the 2010 census.
According to him, he will be looking at fundraising for a competitive primary and support for a Congressional run. He doesn’t expect his decision will be affected by who else decides to jump in the race.
“I don’t think you run because other people are in or out, you run because you think you can do a good job for the district,” Sodders said. “At this point it’s going to be viability. Does my background fit this district? I think it does.”