U.S. Reps. Tom Latham and Bruce Braley are seen as the early front-runners in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Harkin.
However, GOP leaders and insiders are uncertain Latham, a 10-term House member, is interested in giving up his seniority to run for the Senate.
There’s little doubt Braley, 55, will consider running for the Senate seat even though he said Friday he’s planning to run for re-election in northeast Iowa’s 1st District.
“But things can change,” he added.
And they did Saturday when Harkin, a five-term Democrat, announced he would retire at the end of his current six-year term rather than seek re-election in 2014. His retirement sets up the first open-seat Senate race in Iowa since Democrat John Culver defeated Republican David Stanley in 1974.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad quickly closed the door on any talk of him seeking a move from Des Moines to Washington, D.C. But keep Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds’ name, at least in pencil, on the list for the time being. Reynolds said she was flattered to see her name included as a possible 2014 senatorial candidate, admitting that she has received encouragement from supporters and indicated she is keeping her options open.
Who do you see as as a possible Harkin successor? Could it be Braley, Latham or Reynolds, or perhaps someone else not on this list?