Want ad for U.S. House seat isn't attractive

Todd Dorman
Published: April 9 2013 | 7:50 am - Updated: 28 March 2014 | 1:47 pm in

It’s hat-throwing season, but it seems like the ring is filling with towels.

When current 1st District U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley announced a run for the U.S. Senate, I figured candidates would line up for his House seat, especially Democrats, who have a registration edge. And in a state that hasn’t sent a woman to Congress, it’s a chance to make history.

But on Saturday, state Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Robins, who would have been a top contender, said she’s not running. Ditto from State Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center. Assistant Dubuque City Manager Teri Goodmann also is out, reports the Dubuque Telegraph-Herald.

State Rep. Pat Murphy, D-Dubuque, is running, although Murphy mania has yet to catch on. Wait for it.

Two Republicans who ran before for Congress and lost, Rod Blum of Dubuque and Steve Rathje of Cedar Rapids, also are in, as of now. It’s still early. But it’s later than you think, in terms of organizing a run, raising bucks and such.

Why so few applicants? Maybe it’s our want ad.

“Help wanted.

"We’re looking for an ambitious, hardworking, idealistic candidate willing to vie for a high-profile position. An ideal candidate must be optimistic, realistic, consensus-driven, ruggedly individualistic, guided by principle, steered by public opinion, with a heart of gold, a killer instinct, a thick skin, a sense of humor, low expectations, high self-esteem and a photogenic golden retriever.

“The candidate must be willing to subject any and all beloved family members to numerous, new and unique discomforts, inconveniences and insults, while also spending far less quality time with them.

“The candidate, if selected, must be prepared to tackle vital policy issues, but should expect to encounter ceaseless gridlock, partisan warfare, procedural barriers, enormous egos, powerful interests and shameless horse-trading. Accomplishments will be few, and may bear no resemblance whatsoever to original intentions. When not engaged in frustrating and largely fruitless legislative pursuits, the candidate should be prepared to spend several hours each day begging for money.

“The position offers competitive pay and benefits. A successful candidate will be expected to simultaneously live in and relentlessly repudiate Washington, D.C. You’ll be joining a historic organization that is also, currently, reviled by the vast majority of Americans. Apply to the voters of the 1st District.”

Yeah, it’s weird that more people aren’t running. Maybe we shouldn't sugar-coat it so much.

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