February 12, 2016

Iowa Ag Secretary discussing a run for the U.S. Senate

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey. (file photo)

Iowa Ag Secretary Bill Northey. (file photo)

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is another Republican who is considering a potential run for the U.S. Senate seat that will be open in 2014 with the retirement of Democrat Tom Harkin.

Northey, who farms near Spirit Lake, says it is rare to have an open Senate seat and it’s an opportunity he is looking at.

“I love what I’m doing, I love the job that I get to do, I love the people I get to do it with,” Northey says.

“This would be a very important position to Iowa and we need to make sure the right kind of person is representing Iowa. So, I’m thinking about it. We’ll talk about it with our family and have a lot of conversations and figure out what’s right.”

Northey says his ag background would be one of the strengths he could bring to the job as he says the U.S. Senate looks to Iowa when it comes to ag issues. He cites fellow Republican Charles Grassley’s work in the Senate as an example.

“I certainly have a huge amount of respect for Senator Grassley and what he’s done for biofuels, for trade for agriculture. It has been tremendous and that’s because of the way he’s done things, but it’s also because he’s from Iowa and has a great understanding of agriculture,” Northey says. “Of course a U.S. Senator is more than that as well and has to represent Iowa in all those other issues.”

Congressman Steve King and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds are other Republicans who are considering a run. Northey says he has talked with them.

“Yeah, we have on and off and I’m sure we’ll keep talking, and so those conversations will happen as everybody is at various levels of making their decisions,” he says. “I don’t have any insight about what others may be deciding, but we’ll keep having those conversations.”

Northey was first elected Ag Secretary in 2006 and reelected in 2010. 

Republican Congressman Tom Latham announced earlier this week that he would not run for the Senate in 2014. Democrat Congressman Bruce Braley has announced he is running.

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