November 23, 2014

Northey having “conversations” with King, Reynolds about U.S. Senate race (AUDIO)

One of the three Iowa Republicans who’ve publicly confirmed they’re pondering a bid for the U.S. Senate says there will not be a GOP Primary in 2014.

During an interview with the Brownfield Radio Network, State Ag Secretary Bill Northey said he’s “had conversations” with Congressman Steve King and Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds about the race.

“I really believe that it won’t be more than one of this group that in the end will decide to run, so that there is not a large primary that would divide the Republican Party and divide the efforts,” Northey said. “….Somehow one of the three of us will come out of this likely as that candidate.”

AUDIO of Northey’s interview with Ken Anderson of The Brownfield Radio Network.

Northey isn’t ready to make an announcement today, but he said the decision should come before summer.

“Things will be clarified here in the next month or two,” Northey said. “This is something that I need to get decided and need to let folks know where I’m at, but it certainly is something that is an important item to look at completely, so I need to understand the political implications as well as, certainly, the implications on the family.”

Northey and his wife have three adult daughters. In the mid-90s Northey served as the president of the National Corn Growers Association. He farms near Spirit Lake.

Northey was first elected Iowa’s ag secretary in 2006. Four years later Northey easily won re-election with almost 63 percent of the vote, the largest margin for any Republican on the 2010 ballot.

Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, announced in late January that he would not seek reelection in 2014. Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley of Waterloo announced in early February that he would run for the senate. Today, 71 of the 73 Democrats in the Iowa legislature announced they’re endorsing Braley’s bid for the senate. Representative Pat Murphy of Dubuque and House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy did not. Murphy’s running for Braley’s seat in the U.S. House and may face a primary. A spokesman for McCarthy says the House leader does not endorse primary candidates.

Also today Congressman King sent a fundraising email to supporters, making an appeal for donations to his House campaign account.

“You know I’ll never let you down. But today I need to know you stand with me. Running the most expensive campaign in Iowa history last fall put a big dent in our campaign coffers, and I need your help to begin rebuilding our campaign for 2014,” King said.

A spokeswoman for King said the congressman has not made a decision yet about running for the U.S. Senate and the fundraising email is not an indication King plans to seek reelection to the House in 2014.