Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley announced Thursday he will seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by fellow Democrat Tom Harkin. The 73-year-old Harkin has served five terms in the Senate.
“I’ve known Bruce Braley since long before he came to Congress. He is a good friend, a great Congressman, someone who fights passionately for the middle class, for veterans and for Iowa,” Harkin told reporters Thursday.
For now, Harkin is sticking by a pledge he made in January that he does not intend to endorse a successor. “Right now, I’m not endorsing anyone. I just want to make that statement because I mean it,” Harkin said. In late January, the 55-year-old Braley indicated he was “considering” a run for the senate.
Since then, no other Democrat has publicly stated they’re mulling a run as well. Harkin said other Democrats could come forward in the months to come, but he expects the party will rally around one person by summer.
“Knowing how hard it is to put together a campaign and organize, I just think someone who is out there ‘firstest with the mostest,’ as they say…people tend to gravitate towards that person,” Harkin said. Braley, an attorney from Waterloo, told Radio Iowa he’s “hopeful” he will not face a primary.
The Brooklyn, Iowa native first won a seat in the U.S. House in 2006.