One Democrat who’s been thinking about running for governor announced today (Thursday) he won’t. Senate Co-Leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says he’ll remain in the Senate to try to help Democrats gain a majority of seats in the Senate in 2006. Three Republicans have announced they will not seek reelection, and Gronstal says all the Democrats who are up for reelection will run. “We have an incredible opportunity to get a majority in the Iowa Senate,” Gronstal says. (Gronstal is shown in photo above)

He does admit his decision does bring regrets. “Every time you close one door, another door opens,” Gronstal says. “Of course, I have regrets. I’ve had some people tell me I’d make the best governor, but they’re not going to support me. That’s, in some respects, is not easy to take.” But Gronstal, who has spent 22 years in the legislature, says he’s comfortable with his decision to stay in the Senate. “I’ve enjoyed my time in the legislature, working with people,” he says. “It is something I think I am very good at.”

Gronstal shaved his mustache this spring to signal he was seriously considering running for governor. Gronstal said today he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll grow another mustache. However, Gronstal has decided he’ll endorse a candidate in the 2006 race for governor “in the coming weeks.” If a Democrat fails to win the governorship in 2006, Gronstal might consider running. “There’s always 2010,” Gronstal says. “Maybe 2010 is my time to run for governor.”