Iowa Congressman Tom Latham says he is confident Republicans will field a good candidate for Senate seat that will be open in 2014. Latham took his name out of the running Wednesday — saying he likes the job he already has.
“I really am so pleased and proud to represent the Third Congressional District and I didn’t really see any advantage at this time — I’m in the majority party chairing an important subcommittee on appropriations — going over to the Senate as a junior member over there. I think I can accomplish more for the state of Iowa and my district in the position I’m in,” Latham explains.
The Congressman from Clive was considered to be a front-runner for the Republican nomination. He’s not worried about his party finding a good candidate.
“We have several people who are certainly interested in it, any one of them would be a great candidate. It’s going to be a very competitive race no matter who is in it…I think we have a good opportunity, no matter who are candidate is,” Latham says. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds said today she would discuss the issue with Congressman Steve King, another Republican who is considering a run.
Latham says there’s not a big hurry to make a decision. “I think Iowans like most people are still pretty tired of campaigning,” Latham says.
“The idea of 18 months or whatever it is more than that of continuous campaigning and getting all the resources together to try and make a competitive race is a big job, but I think a shorter campaign would be to everyone’s benefit. Certainly for the people who have to watch TV and listen to radio.”
With the decision not to make a Senate run, Latham says he will continue focusing on the work at hand. That includes budget issues and the sequestration cuts scheduled for Friday. He says the hype surrounding the cuts is overblown.
“I don’t think anyone’s gonna actually notice to begin with, it will have some affects down the road, but most of it will be delayed,” he says. “Any kind of staff changes there’d be at least 30 days notification. For furloughs you’re talking about maybe a shorter work week for some individuals. I really don’t believe that it should have a major impact.”
Latham says some of the impact will depend on how the administration manages the cuts. “It was the president’s idea to have the sequester to begin with — they insisted on that in the Budget Control Act. So I think it’s up to the administration to manage it to the best benefit of the American people basically, so that we don’t lose those essential services,” Latham says.
Latham says they will pass what’s called a continuing resolution next week to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year in September.