Two of the three Republicans who are running for the G.O.P’s U.S. Senate nomination and a chance to face-off against Democrat Tom Harkin in November appeared on Iowa Public Television tonight.

George Eichhorn and Christopher Reed spent most of the time answering the moderator’s questions, illustrating their grasp of the issues, and only every so often taking a verbal shot at Harkin. But at the end of the hour-long forum, each was given two-minutes for a closing statement and Reed began with this, aimed at Harkin. “I believe that Washington is broken and we cannot fix it by sending the same man back for a fifth term. I am not a politician in any form,” Reed said. “…I’m a regular Iowan who wants to go to Washington and represent regular Iowans.”

Eichhorn used his two-minute closing statement to present himself as a candidate of the Republican establishment. “I have endorsements from 40 people from around the state — Republican leaders all across this state — who know me, know my record and know that I am the best candidate to take on Tom Harkin,” Eichhorn said.

Steve Rathje, the other Republican in the U.S. Senate race, chose not to participate last night. Check out the Radio Iowa Blog ( http://learfield.typepad.com/radioiowa/2008/05/us-senate-candi.html ) for more information about last night’s debate and find links there if you want to watch a replay of tonight’s event.